Is Bitcoin safe? How do I know I won’t get cheated?

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So is Bitcoin safe? There are a number of factors that will determine if any online banking system is secure. When Bitcoin is used properly, it is safe.

Why is Bitcoin safe?


If you are in the United States and use dollars, you can deposit and withdraw funds using Mt. Gox Coinbase, a service where you can buy and sell Bitcoin. Once you buy Bitcoins, you can store them in a digital wallet of your choice which you access with a number that’s provided, and a password you create. Nobody else knows or tracks this password – and if you lose the password, the Bitcoins are gone.

When you send or receive Bitcoins, the funds are sent immediately. The transaction takes a few minutes to an hour to clear for the recipient...

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Who runs Bitcoin? Could it turn off one day?

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So who runs Bitcoin anyway? Bitcoin is decentralized, no single person, country, or entity manages the Bitcoin infrastructure. The important parts of the Bitcoin infrastructure are:

1. The publicly shared ledger which tracks every single wallet containing every single Bitcoin there is (wallets are tracked but not their owner info). This isn’t on any one computer, it’s shared across all Bitcoin computers all over the world.
2. The Bitcoin clients like Bitcoin-qt and Blockchain.info where all Bitcoins are securely stored by their owners.
3. The miners or volunteers that run the Bitcoin software. The Bitcoin program no longer needs an admin or central authority. Without getting into too much detail, Bitcoin manages itself and is stable and reliable.

These entities all work together via t...

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So are Bitcoins real or can I print my Bitcoins out?

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I’ve seen pictures of coins that say Bitcoin and notes that say Bitcoin, but are Bitcoins real? It depends.

A Bitcoin promissory note or coin is digital cryptocurrency you can send on the Bitcoin network. It is only good if it has a valid wallet address and password for the amount it claims to be. More importantly, when you take custody of that Bitcoin wallet address, it’s important nobody has seen the wallet password before you, and you trust the source providing the note. It’s also important to know the current exchange rate for Bitcoin to $US.

Think of it this way, let’s say I owe you some money. To pay with Bitcoin, I can either send a certain amount of Bitcoin to a wallet ID you created, or I can give you access to a Bitcoin wallet with the money I owe you...

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Is Bitcoin a good investment to make? What’s the short and long term outlook?

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Bitcoin has had a pretty short history, it’s impossible to answer outright if Bitcoin a good investment. Bitcoin has proven to be stable, robust, and so far trustworthy. Part of that stability and perception depends on outlets like Mt Gox Coinbase, that allow you to convert Bitcoin for $US dollars and also $US dollars to Bitcoin. One time a Bitcoin security hole was exploited, but the Bitcoin community gracefully returned the system to normal while fixing the bug and with no Bitcoins lost or unaccounted for in the process.
Nefarious institutions like Silk road were closed which threatened the stability, exchange rate, and image of Bitcoin. However, the exchange rate recovered quickly after the news of Silk road, indicating Bitcoin wasn’t tied to just one market or business...

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