Saturday, 1 March 2014

Virtually a new way to spend money as the Bitcoin comes to town


Having just about come to accept using the Euro and managing to get the hang of online banking, and chip and pin cards, news that the first Bitcoin cash machine was installed in the “Old Shoreditch Station” bar in London caught my technophobic attention. A Bitcoin, apparently, is the most popular of the virtual crypto currencies which are internet based money that have lines of computer code which is supposed to make it more secure to use. At this point I was struggling to understand just how a Bitcoin cash machine was going to work but according to the owner of the bar, it is quite simple. You put your cash in the machine and scan a code or show a picture of a code on your phone, with the Bitcoin cash machine and it then downloads Bitcoins to your phone. Consumers in effect have their wallet in their phone for further transactions including buying a pint or two at the Old Shoreditch Station one would presume.
Consumers have mixed reaction to latest crypto currency
Bitcoin has been praised by its users because in effect it is supposed to be safer and easier for consumers to use over the internet then transferring money for example. It also means not using credit cards, dealing with foreign exchange rates nor any cash handling fees, and is not supposed to be as susceptible to fraud. A Bitcoin is designed so that it can be tracked with the digital signature of every single person who comes into contact with it and uses it to purchase services and goods on line. Each one possesses value and trade just the same as if you had a pocket of gold coins and their value can increase or decrease.
Bitcoin exchange goes offline due to "unusual activity"

However, Bitcoins are not subjected to regulation in the same way that traditional currencies are because unlike currencies managed by bank, Bitcoins are not controlled by any one authority. This has led to concerns that the system can be used for, as one reporter carefully put it, “other less mainstream uses.” This apprehension,alongside the fact that the most popular Bitcoin exchange this week went offline at a cost of millions to some, still has consumers reviewing this monetary currency with some reservations. Supporters of the Bitcoin scheme speak of it as being a “borderless payment” and the way that future monetary exchanges will take place, but for others there are still quite a few details to be ironed out before they will commit themselves.

It will be interesting to see whether the Bitcoin cash machine in London will take off so that eventually they become as commonplace as our current ATM’s across the country, and how the banks will react to this form of currency.

If you are a Bitcoin user get in touch and tell us about your experience – we’re listening!

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