ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

What are Bitcoins?

Updated on April 23, 2013

Can you get rich quick?

Your neighbor's kid just got a job at a local pizza parlor. He's being paid in BitCoins. Online job offerings offer work-at-home opportunities, but they are paying in BitCoins. It is a scam?

Yes, it's a scam. And no, it's not.

Before you invest your 401K in this hot new currency, let's take a closer look. Everyone else is.

Check the search engines

Google, Yahoo, and Bing will tell you more than you ever want to know about this new way of transferring wealth. They each report millions of hits:

(click column header to sort results)
Search Engine  
# of hits (unverifiable)  
Number of hits on the phrase 'bitcoins' (quotes added for clarity) from the three major search engines

None of these three 'services' will allow you to see beyond the first 1000 results: don't get too excited. There may as well be 1001 results.

All signs point to

All three of our guiding lights list as the first site about which you should be aware. It's a "dot org", implying that it's guileless and free of the lust for capitalism. We assume. Interestingly enough, the site is festooned with the MIT open source license. The authors pretty much release all claim to the content. You can do mostly whatever you want with it.

We will.

The first thing they want you to know -- money speaks every language. -- money speaks every language.

Break it down

Open Source : The programming is available for anyone to download, study, modify, and distribute. The source code is available at no cost. This is rarely considered a bad thing, even in the arena of data security. The more eyeballs focused upon a thing, the more likely that flaws will be identified and corrected. A fully disclosed system garners confidence from investing masses. If you know what's going on behind the curtain you are more likely to entrust your time and energy.

P2P: Peer to peer is a computer geek term meaning that all the computers on the network are independent contractors. No central hive-mind controls the system. If a peer crashes, the system can recover and continue managing our BitCoins economy. There is no Microsoft or Federal Reserve lurking in the background to set prices or influence supply.

Digital Currency: a digital entity consists of 1's and 0's that exist inside computers. All your photographs, emails, Facebook pages, and Hulu accounts are totally digital. There's nothing in the real world to clutch. There's no tangible property, unless you print a report, which is simply a snapshot of what you had during a single moment in time.

Therefore, your money exists only inside your hardware. You lose your computer and you will probably lose your investment. Your data is your nest egg. It's not scary, except when it is.

To be fair, you already live in a mostly digital economy anyway. If your bank burns down, your money is safely backed up at a regional data center. They don't keep your cash stuffed into the overstuffed furniture in the lobby.

Should you be nervous, yet?

Until Wal Mart begins accepting BitCoins, you can probably live without them. The pizza delivery kid will look at you funny if you want to tip him with anything besides cash.

Click on a few links and explore just in case there's a Double-Jeopardy question you'll need to answer. Your neighbors will be impressed.

Take this simple poll, if you want to.

BitCoins are

See results


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I love earning a few slivers of BitCoins by doing simple jobs online, but I have no idea how that will benefit me in the long run. Thanks for the interesting read.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Bitcoins will eclipse fiat money very soon. The governments cannot prop up their currencies without massive tax increases. People will wise up and start moving away from state-sponsored money.

    • nicomp profile imageAUTHOR

      nicomp really 

      6 years ago from Ohio, USA

      @drbj : It's all very mathy. The bitcoin system had spurred sales of computer hardware and electricity, but it will probably not be secure in the long run.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 

      6 years ago from south Florida

      I must admit, nicomp, it is difficult for me to fathom how I've existed this long without the need for bitcoins. I may have to re-evaluate my entire investment strategy.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)