Last week’s post explored some of the basics about bitcoin and cryptocurrency. Today’s post is going to pick up the exploration, including software, mining, wallets, and more.
When someone refers to “bitcoin software,” what they’re talking about is software that you use to “mine” for bitcoin. Bitcoin mining hardware usually handles much of the mining process. However, mining software connects your miners to the blockchain and the mining pool, if you’re a part of one. Software keeps the flow of mining work going. There is mining software compatible for almost any computer operating system. You can find a list of software by operating system here.
Miners get paid (in bitcoin, of course) for verifying transactions and generating bitcoins using a process to solve mathematical functions, also know as a “hash.” There are many miners in the network, so while mining in the beginning might have been a more profitable endeavor, it is less so as more miners participate. 99bitcoins.com created a video to help people understand the mining process.
According to Investopedia.com, Bitcoin Wallets are “software programs where bitcoins are stored.” Being virtual, they aren’t really stored. Your wallet can contain several “addresses” where you assign amounts and these addresses are assigned a private key code. These addresses in your wallet are what you use to send and receive bitcoins for transactions. That’s why it’s also important to encrypt your wallet using a powerful password. Bitcoin Wallet, Hive Android, and Mycelium Bitcoin Wallet are three of the many available wallet providers.
Growing Acceptance for Bitcoin Payment
There are now 100+ large companies that currently accept bitcoin for payment and that list is growing each day. Here are just a few of the more well-known companies:
- DISH Network
- Save the Children
- Peach Airlines
- Lionsgate FilmsMint.com
- Whole Foods
Bitcoin Business Impact
As a business, you can begin to acquire bitcoins for goods and services. Its continued existence relies on being accepted as a form of payment by businesses and individuals alike.
A couple of advantages of accepting cryptocurrency include:
- Little or no fees
- Access funds faster
- No government interference
- Sales are final
- Smart contracts are possible
- Permanent record of transactions
Bitcoin comes with its disadvantages as well. Before you go all in, you should consider the following:
- Vulnerability to scams and fraud
- Volatile pricing
- Chargebacks and refunds are not possible
- A better cryptocurrency could replace bitcoin, leaving it without value
Looking a “Bit” Ahead
While there is no crystal ball to tell us how high or far bitcoin will go, it’s currently on the uptick in the market today. As of this date, its value has increased over 900% in the past year, which makes it an investment worth considering, for now. As of December 1, 2017, the value of bitcoin was $10,790.58 in US dollars. Financial gurus are warning people that it may be a bubble about to burst, while others believe in its long-term viability so much that they are mortgaging their homes.
Perform your due diligence to research and learn all you can about cryptocurrency and bitcoin. Speak to your financial advisor and broker, if you have one. You could even consider polling your customers to find out if they’re interested in using bitcoin.
Information is power and in the case of cryptocurrency, a powerful necessity before jumping in.
While Valpak doesn’t currently accept bitcoin or cryptocurrency, we do offer powerful marketing solutions like digital, print, and direct mail. Contact us for information about your business marketing today.