From time immemorial, people engaged in business transactions using barter trade, where goods would be exchanged for other goods. As civilization came about, paper minting and metal mining gave birth to money in form of notes and coins.
Throughout the colonial period to independence, various nations developed their own currencies, for use within their borders. Those with stronger value soon became acceptable internationally, and were heavily anchored in travel and tourism. By and by, cases of insecurity, theft and robbery became very rampant, and humanity resorted to plastic money.
Coupled with state of art machines, banks and other financial institutions opted for methods like wire transfer, Western Transfer, Mobile Phone Money transfers, Credit Cards, and use of online agents like Paypal, Pioneer, and Skrill, until recently when the idea of virtual currencies was born.
What are bitcoins?
Recent years have witnessed a sharp turn of events in the world of money matters. The world is fast drifting its attention from use of paper and coins to use of virtual currencies like bitcoins.
Bitcoins refers to an online currency, which does not exist in paper or coins, and therefore not physical. This is money that is only available and usable from your computer, from your Smartphone, or from one of the many third party websites that offer storage services for online currencies.
As opposed to other forms of currencies from one nation to another, bitcoins do not have control by any governments or any central banks or financial authorities, and that is one of its main features. Money matters have never been this easy: with bitcoins, you can send money to from anywhere to any part of the world, to any one across the borders of your country or continent, and all that without a trace by security agents or financial institutions!
How to get bitcoins or how to mine bitcoins is a common question. One needs to have access to a special mining hardware, which is the primary way or acquiring bitcoins. Other means would include visiting an exchange bureau, direct exchange with someone from your neighborhood, buying them from a stock exchange or a bank, accepting them as payment for goods sold or rendered services, and so on.
What are bitcoins used for?
Perhaps the important thing to remember here is that bitcoins is more or less like any other real currency out there, save for its main characteristic of anonymity in its transactions and financial engagements.
In light of this, you can always use your bitcoins to make payments for purchased goods and services, as long as the person or institution accepts such payments, needless to say that many do.
In addition, you can easily give help and send donations, send the coins to someone in exchange for other currencies, and for most of your shopping online. Of course, there are many sites for gambling using bitcoins, and many other people investing in buying and selling of bitcoins in the stock market, and so can you.