Lately, the global interest in bitcoins has grown. So, it becomes extremely important to understand the basics of bitcoin and other virtual currencies. Bitcoin, and its alternatives are all based on cryptographic algorithms which are encrypted. This makes the currency decentralized giving ownership to the user.

      These can be purchased through an online exchange or a Bitcoin ATM. Landmark feature of a bitcoin is that it can curb the chances of fraud and identity theft and hence is considered a safe mode of holding money. Bitcoin allows buying and selling of goods and services online, as well as transferring money.

      The Walt Disney Company has become the latest corporation to be targeted by a high profile hacking operation. According to the CEO of the company, Bob Iger, “The hackers have demanded the ransom in bitcoin and threatened to release five minutes of the film and then 20-minute segments unless the Bitcoin ransom is paid”. He did not reveal the name of the film nor the amount of the ransom but said the company would not pay up.

      Disney is not the first film studio to be targeted by cyber criminals. This news came weeks after a group of hackers uploaded a rough cut of the fifth season of  “Orange is the New Black” to the internet after Netflix refused to pay a ransom. The streaming company refused to cooperate with the hacking group. The hackers then posted the episodes illegally on file sharing platforms.

      Due to the current cases of ransomware breach, various companies are keeping bitcoin handy and criminals keep demanding for more bitcoin. Perhaps, it is because bitcoin is known as a virtual money that can be withdrawn directly to any bank account or through remittance services anonymously.

      Although it is not a tangible asset. Bitcoin has features of traditional fiat currency including scarcity, divisibility, portability, fungibility and recognizability. Unlike regular money, bitcoin also introduces a dimension of programmability. It means that in the future, Bitcoin can receive updates and have even more handy features like smart contract and the others.

      Again, every bitcoin has the same value as its counterpart regardless of who owns it and what history it has. Just like one ounce of gold is always equal to another ounce of pure gold. No matter what happens, one bitcoin remains a symbol of value interchangeable with another bitcoin.

Besides, unlike the traditional fiat currencies that can be inflated without end. Bitcoin introduces digital scarcity. There are going to be only 21 million BTC unlike fiat currencies which undergo annual inflation and lose part of its value, bitcoin’s inflation is limited.

      Economic Experts are curious that this can also be a threat to the future of bitcoin in as much as it’s an advantage. This is cryptocurrency’s dark side which sometimes get lost in the hype over the rocketing value of bitcoin and the others. But just as digital money has turned into a hot new investment. It has also given hackers and cyber criminals new opportunities for exploitation.

      Nevertheless, the risk can be colossal. But, with great risk comes great opportunity. There are people making great sum of money and there are people with significant losses as well. However, this does not change the fact that Bitcoin is the way forward.

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