“Why Bitcoin?” is one of the first questions that comes up when I mention Bitcoin. It’s interesting to note that WordPress.com, the host of this blog, now includes space for authors to be paid in Bitcoin. My Bitcoin address is “14VNkTPR7N9kxjPkYc1Gvf3R9TNbME615W” just in case you are interested in sending me some Bitcoin. It’s just that easy to set up, send and receive Bitcoin.
If I wanted to set up the ability to receive payments by MasterCard or Visa it would require a bank, a merchant account, an ability to read card numbers, username, date of expiry, a three-digit security code, and a signature. There might even be a waiting period before any transactions go through, despite all of this security.
Bitcoin requires none of that. Bitcoin that is sent to an address is received by the address. That is the end of the transaction. There are no banking fees, there are no exchange rates or credit card charges. There is a small fee attached to each transaction that pays for the processing. Every bit of the Bitcoin sent as a payment is received by the recipient. This is true for any sender and any receiver anywhere in the world.
Imagine your brother, someone you trust more than anyone else in the world, owed you a large sum of money. To pay you he hands you an envelope full of cash. You might not even bother to count it. He’s your brother after all. In this trusted relationship, counting isn’t necessary. You put the envelope in your pocket. End of story. The reason that this transaction was so simple was that it is a trusted relationship. The reason Bitcoin transactions are so simple is that they, too, are trusted relationships.
Why Bitcoin? Because it’s so much easier, faster, smarter and cheaper than any other form of payment.