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What you need to know about Bitcoins Bitcoin tokens at year-old software engineer Mike Caldwell’s shop in Sandy, Utah, April 3, Howell obtained the bitcoins in for almost nothing. Here are a few things to know about the virtual currency: Bitcoin is a decentralized peer-to-peer digital currency and payment network.

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It is completely based on the belief that Bitcoin has value. Hoss Gifford of OneMethod Inc. Instead, Bitcoin relies on a sort of honour system, and is traded on the web. According to the Bitcoin website, Bitcoin is free from the highs and lows of inflation, interest rates and market fluctuations, and its value is determined by the number of bitcoins in circulation. The total number of Bitcoins is capped at 21 million. How does Bitcoin work?

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The process involves setting up an account, then transferring funds into the account in order to start buying bitcoins.

Bitcoins can also be exchanged in physical form through the Casascius coin — each is worth one digital Bitcoin. Individuals can acquire bitcoins through: Payment for goods and services Purchasing them at a Bitcoin exchange Exchanging bitcoins with other individuals Earning bitcoins through competitive mining a process whereby users create money through computing: When a problem is solved, bitcoins are issued.

Approximately 20 businesses in Vancouver now accept Bitcoin.

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What are the advantages? Money can be sent and received instantly anywhere in the world, at any time, without a bank or middleman. Payments are processed with either no fees or very small fees. Users are in full control of their transactions. All information on transactions is available in the database.

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What are the risks? While every single transaction made using Bitcoin is posted publicly, the identity of the user remains anonymous — making it hard to track perpetrators in the case of theft. But according to the Bitcoin website, the most common vulnerability is user error. Similarly to physical cash stored in a digital form, Bitcoin wallets that store private keys can be accidently deleted, lost or stolen.