Rich Crocco

Understanding Bitcoin Part 2: Bitcoin Exchanges

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In order to get comfortable with the idea of acquiring and using Bitcoin, you need to get comfortable with Bitcoin exchanges. Bitcoin exchanges are the common marketplace to buy and sell Bitcoin. There are alternatives to exchanges but we’ll cover that later. When approaching Bitcoin as a concept, the first thing you need to do is get comfortable with the basics: how the technology works, where it gets its value, etc. This I covered in another blog post named “Understanding Bitcoin: The Basics.”

There are Bitcoin Exchanges located inside and outside the US and more are on the way. There are two types of business models for these companies, either they are full exchanges or they are a digital ‘wallet’ service to store their customers’ Bitcoins, or both. The combination of exchange/wallet service is getting popular now, with a lot of companies offering a mobile app to easily access your Bitcoins from your smart phone.

Transacting Bitcoin
The important question is, when you execute a transaction on an exchange, what is actually happening? This takes us to one of the most important concepts to understand about Bitcoin: the fact that Bitcoin exist only as evidence of a transaction, rather than a ledger or a cumulative file that equals a certain amount of value. Read more…