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What is Bitcoin and Can I Make Money Buying and Selling Bitcoin?

Question: I keep hearing people talk about Bitcoin and how popular it's becoming... and how they made money buying and selling it. Is it safe and should I try it?

Answer: Bitcoin has indeed become much more popular in recent days, and is increasing in value exponentially on a daily - even hourly - basis. As of this writing - Nov 28, 2017 - a single bitcoin is worth almost $10,000!

There's a lot to learn about Bitcoin, but the basics I've listed below will help you quickly get up to speed.

What is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is an innovative payment network and a new kind of money that's not controlled or regulated by the government. It's open-source too, which means that nobody owns or controls Bitcoin and everyone can take part, but it's also very secure and affordable since there are no transaction fees and no banks involved.

You can use Bitcoin just like money. You can buy and sell it too (just like you would on the stock market).

Is Bitcoin Legal?

Yes, it's completely legal to buy, sell and spend bitcoin. 

Whether the government decides to crack down on bitcoin commercial transaction remains to be seen, but it will be very hard for any one government to do that since bitcoin is a global currency.

Is Bitcoin Safe?

Usually when people ask if something related to money is safe, what they really are asking is this: "is it SECURE?" and the answer is YES with bitcoin. All transactions that involve bitcoins are stored in blocks that are chained together using a technology called Blockchain, which is a decentralized database that is virtually unhackable. 

What can I buy using Bitcoin?

Many companies let you buy their merchandise using bitcoin, including Overstock, Microsoft and Newegg. You can buy a new computer at Dell now using bitcoin, or even book a flight ticket using CheapAir.com.

Can I make money buying or selling Bitcoin?

Yes, you can make money buying and selling Bitcoin, provided it continues to sky-rocket in value like it has been recently. Last month it went up in value over $3,800 per coin - that's the fastest increase in value I've ever heard of!

Check out the bitcoin marketplace at LocalBitcoins to see how much money people are spending to buy bitcoin, and how much they are making selling those bitcoin.

How do I get started with Bitcoin?

Once way to get started is to visit Coinbase and create a free account. They'll give you $10 off your first purchase of $100 of bitcoin, and they'll give you a link you can use to invite your friends. For each friend you invite, they'll give you $10 and your friend will get $10 too!

As for whether you should try it or not, that depends on your appetite for risk. Just like gold and silver, bitcoin is very volatile, and there are no guarantees. However, the value of bitcoin is increasing so rapidly that if you have an extra $100 laying around I would recommend investing it and seeing how fast it grows to $1000 or more :-)

In fact, just for grins I went ahead and bought $100 worth of bitcoin from Coinbase. I'll report back later with how much it's worth, and please leave a comment below if you did the same thing!

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