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    Bitcoin, published in 2008 and released in 2009, is a form of digital currency. Bitcoins are used to complete online transactions between individuals, and the virtual Bitcoin currency is created and held electronically. A peer to peer payment network allows transactions to occur between users directly, without intervention from a third party or middleman. Network nodes verify transactions as they are processed, and they are recorded in a publicly distributed ledger referred to as the ‘blockchain.' Every transaction ever processed is subject to review on the blockchain ledger with authenticity guaranteed through digital signatures.  

    Bitcoin is the first decentralized payment network operating independently of banks or central financial institutions. The digital nature of the currency means there is no printed money, checks or credit cards payments. Bitcoin is like cash for the Internet, transferred via open source software using encryption techniques that regulate payments and the production of new Bitcoin units.

    The currency can be acquired as payment for goods or services, purchased at a Bitcoin exchange, through individual trade, or earned through a process called ‘mining.' Miners are responsible for verifying and recording payments using computer software and are rewarded with newly created bitcoins and transaction fees.

    You can think of Bitcoin as simply a digital Bitcoin wallet application that facilitates the ability to send and receive digital currency. Just like a conventional currency, Bitcoin can be used at accepted retailers throughout the world to purchase available items.

    Your computer or smartphone can enable a payment simply be completing a recipient’s address, determining the Bitcoin units, and pressing send. NFC technology is leveraged by some applications allowing transfer of funds simply by scanning a QR code or pressing compatible mobiles together.

    Originally proposed and created by software developer Satoshi Nakamoto, the basis for Bitcoin was introducing a currency decentralized from any central authority or banking system, based on mathematical equations. He envisaged users taking advantage of immediate electronic transfer, with unordinary low transaction fees, freeing up users to transact on their terms.

    There is a range of freelancer and business benefits generated through Bitcoin-related payments. Bitcoin provides payment freedom. Not only is the virtual currency simple to set up (you can have a bitcoin account active in seconds), there are zero fees to receive payments and tiny outbound transfer fees anywhere in the world. No waiting for transaction processing on weekends or holidays, money is sent and received in an instant. Bitcoin also provides reduced risk for merchants. Transactions are visible on the blockchain general ledger, contain no sensitive customer information, and are secure and irreversible. No need for costly PCI compliance or lost revenues through fraudulent chargebacks.

    The continued growth of Bitcoin globally has provided a host of business benefits. From accepting Bitcoin as a payment option for your services, providing Bitcoin integration or development services, becoming a Bitcoin miner, or providing other solutions relating to cryptocurrencies. If you are in need of a freelancer for a Bitcoin-related project, then post a project (with a detailed description of the work to be done), or search the directory at Freelancer.com to get your job underway.