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Bitcoin

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Learn about Bitcoins and what happened to the Mt. Gox exchange.

Learn about Bitcoins and what happened to the Mt. Gox exchange.

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  • 1. Bitcoin What is it? What happened?
  • 2. What is Bitcoin      Electronic money, began 2009 Most prominent digital currency Relies on network of computers that use mathematics to verify and record details of transactions No central authority governs supply and value Value depends on people’s confidence
  • 3. Volatility of the Bitcoin    Very volatile! In December, one of the online exchanges (Bitstamp) spiked from $30 to $1100. However, concerns caused decline to $530 on Tuesday Price varies greatly depending on exchange
  • 4. How do I spend it?   Ideal for online. Some companies already ready to accept (Overstock.com, other stores) Critics worry about volatility and potential to be used for illegal activity
  • 5. Where do I store and trade Bitcoins?    Held in virtual wallets with unique keys Transactions made by sending bitcoins from one wallet to a unique key associated with another wallet in a cryptographic process verified by computers Wallets can be stored offline or online at exchanges such as Bitstamp and BTC-E
  • 6. Creating a bitcoin   Known as bitcoin mining Rewards computers that do the work of verifying transactions, rewarded in bitcoin
  • 7. What happened to Mt. Gox     The Tokyo based site halted withdrawals this month after detecting “unusual activity” and on Tuesday stopped trading More than 744,000 bitcoins missing due to malleability-related theft Debts of Mt. Gox is over $65 million, surpassing the assets Mt. Gox was formerly a website for exchanging trading cards
  • 8. What could have helped Mt. Gox   Since bitcoins are software, any computer or server connected to the Internet that stores the files are vulnerable to unauthorized access. Similar to a hacker copying email. Move the digital money off a webconnected computer. This is known as “cold storage”. Can go online to trade. (Online is known as “hot storage”
  • 9. What is the future of bitcoins?   The Mt. Gox failure proves unregulated currency is not quite ready for widespread use However, newer exchanges are trying to make it mainstream and are better supervised.
  • 10. Where can I learn more?    Learn all about Bitcoin: https://bitcoin.org/en/ Sign up for a Bitcoin wallet: http://www.bitcoin.com/ More about Bitcoin in the free market: http://spectrum.ieee.org/computing/software/bitcoin-the-cryptoanarchists-answer-to-cash