For a lot of people the idea of converting their hard earned cash into a virtual currency seems like a dicey move but is this just the next step in cloud currency? What does it mean for your business to have a digital wallet in 2014?
What is a Bitcoin?
A Bitcoin is an international digital “Cryptocurrency” introduced in 2009 that allows users to trade online and with wholesalers with the benefit of speed, low transaction fees and anonymous transactions.
There are approximately 12 million Bitcoins in circulation at present and because of the way they are produced through complex algorithms this number is capped at a total of 21 million coins.
How are they used?
Given the limited number of Bitcoins, the value of the online currency is ever changing because of the simple principle of supply and demand. As of December 2013 there were approximately 170,000 bitcoin users, almost double what there were in 2012. They are used in transactions ranging from online dating (OKCupid.com) to Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic Flights.
You may have seen in the news recently about how China has since banned Bitcoins because of the recent data threats coming in the form of CryptoLocker a malware that has infected over 250,000 PC’s. The virus works by encrypting all of the user files and demanding that the users make a payment using Bitcoins in a secure and anonymous way. Due to this the value of a bitcoin has increased at a rapid rate over the past 3 months, with cyber criminals looking to use the boundaries of this currency for personal gain. Businesses are not safe either as CryptoLocker has wormed its way into small to medium sized businesses around the world.
Are they safe? Should I be worried?
Despite some unconventional press in unlawful transactions, on the whole bit coins are very secure and can be stored in a digital wallet. Meaning that you have a location in which you can store all of your currency, however like real life, should you loose your digital wallet you will loose the currency it holds. You are able to store Bitcoins through tangible backups or virtual backups the same as you can with data. With all of these points in mind our Securo backup and Recovery solution is an ideal way to make sure that all of your data is backed up and secure against CryptoLocker malware.
How can they benefit my Business?
Currently the likes of Virgin Galactic use Bitcoins and the $Billion retailer Overstock.com and Amazon thought to be not too far behind and here’s why: Low transaction fees, fast international payments, fraud protection, no PCI compliance required and of course no paper work! There are of course downfalls to this which include the fact that it is not a real currency and that the Chinese government have not backed the digital currency to a legal tender status.