You keep hearing about Bitcoin. You've started seeing Bitcoin exchange ATM's in the mall. Your friend paid for his international honeymoon with Bitcoin! But do you get it? Even after researching the topic fairly extensively I have realized I'm never able to explain Bitcoin to people as articulately as I'd like, or what the possibilities of blockchain technology are outside of a digital currency. Because of this we created our own Bitcoin post as a resource to refresh our memories and share with others.
Even with all the information above, to really understand Bitcoin it is important to know it's history and the journey it has taken to become the digital currency it is today. The folks over at bangthebook.com created an in depth history, description of how Bitcoin works, and what you can do with it. With plenty of links included along the way, Bang The Book made it easy to investigate specific events further and to explore relevant speculation.
Bitcoin is the best & fastest solution thus far when it comes to the double spending problem. Double spending is only an issue with digital transactions and "happens when someone conceals or misrepresents information about the recipient of digital cash". When you hand someone a dollar you can clearly see that you have one less dollar and the recipient has one more dollar, but, when we use banks or services like Paypal & Venmo, we are trusting a third party to verify and carry out the transaction. Bitcoin reduces the time a transaction can be verified from 3-5 days to 10 minutes or event instantly, and the way Blockchain technology works programmatically verifies the transaction with cryptography.
One thing I feel is important to note: "You will want to treat Bitcoin as an anonymous and secure digital payment option, not an investment." Bitcoin is still a volatile digital currency with many competitors working to keep Bitcoin from becoming the preferred broker of digital financial transactions.
Still, there are many reasons that make Bitcoin so attractive: financial freedom, no inflation, better privacy, & ownership of your monies. Bang The Book's article Bitcoin 101 [Everything You Wanted To Know About The Cryptocurrency] also goes through what is needed to get started with Bitcoin, the pros and cons of different BTC exchanges, and some security best practices to be aware of.
For more info and a TED talk about the possibilities: Understand It Early: Bitcoin & Blockchain