Primer: Think about accepting bitcoin.

Many friends label me a Bitcoin fanatic, however let me first state that Bitcoin alone will not save your business, will not make you wealthy, and is not essential for a successful business; at least not today.  Bitcoin remains small[1], but important in a growing niche payments technology space.  We will see more of it in the future.  In 2009, Bitcoin introduced two fundamental innovations[2]; the blockchain: a secure public ledger managing the possession of a cryptographically scarce counterfeit resistant digital token.  That token, bitcoin with a small ‘b’ is what a merchant may accept at the register alongside cash and credit cards.  That token, BTC (aka XBT), in the last 7 years, has achieved a real world value which

Read more

Bitcoin Basics #003 – Bitcoin Wallets

By Albert Szmigielski Today we will explain Bitcoin Wallets A Bitcoin Wallet is a piece of software that allows you to do the following: Keep track of the bitcoins you own Send and receive bitcoins Connect to and query the Bitcoin network for a variety of information Technically the term wallet is a little bit misleading, the Bitcoin wallet does not hold your bitcoins. All the bitcoins ever created are stored on the blockchain. The wallet stores your private keys, which in turn allow you access to the bitcoins you own on the blockchain. There are a few types of wallets: Full wallet Light wallet (sometimes called a light  or thin client) Mobile wallets Web wallets Paper wallets Hardware wallets

Read more

Bitcoin Basics #002 – Blockchain

By Albert Szmigielski This post will attempt to describe in simple terms what a blockchain is. Append only Data Structure A blockchain is a data structure. What is a data structure you ask. Simply put, a container to store some data. What is so special about the blockchain then? The blockchain is an append only data structure, which means we can add to it, but never delete from it. This simple fact opens up vast possibilities. All kinds of record keeping is possible with blockchains, including a ledger of accounts. What about the chain part? Yes, the chain is very important in the blockchain. Data is stored in bunches, just because it is more efficient that way. Those bunches are

Read more

Bitcoin Basics #001 – What is Bitcoin?

By Albert Szmigielski Quite often I face the question: “What is Bitcoin?” And it comes from people who have not heard about Bitcoin. When I try to come up with a short answer, I usually reply: it is digital, programmable money. However the counterpoint always gets raised: “Digital money already exists, paypal, visa, e-transfers, etc.”. So let’s try to pin down what Bitcoin really is. To that end we started a Bitcoin Basics series, this is part #001. In short Bitcoin is software, a digital currency, a payment system, a decentralized, permissionless network, and an evolving organism with an immune system. Software, Digital Currency, Payment System It is noteworthy that Bitcoin is ever evolving. So the way we will define it today

Read more