Every so often there comes along a new sensation. Something new appears on the scene that turns the world on its head. Destroying old norms and forcing the creation of new paradigms, new systems, new norms.
Today it looks as if we are again riding on the cusp of another such movement. This time affecting our global monetary system. There is a new form of currency out there that is gaining traction worldwide. It’s called Crypto Currency, and right now the most popular form of this is the Bitcoin.
Currently, it is being used to buy and sell items from individuals and companies. It’s also just beginning to be used to pay for work done, and I’m going to show you some online jobs that pay with Bitcoin.
You’ll start to get a feel of where the world is headed with this new sensation. But first, let’s address the question of what is Bitcoin and how does it work?
What is Bitcoin and how does it work?
My understanding of Bitcoin is that it is a new form of currency. Digital currency in fact. Also known as a cryptocurrency. But whereas regular currency (paper money and coins) before now have always been controlled by the governments and the Central Banks of the world who regulate and manage its issuance and value.
Bitcoin has no central governmental authority. Bitcoins network is owned by no one and in effect is controlled by the conglomeration of all the Bitcoin users worldwide.
Creation of each new coin is achieved using a process called Mining. This involves the use of computational power to process and verify transactions. This mining is done at a decisively fixed, controlled rate, by specialized computer hardware devices called ASICS (Application Specific Integrated Circuits).
There is also a finite number of Bitcoins that can be created. That number is capped at 21 million coins and right now at this time in 2018, we are at just above eighty (80) percent of that figure.
Bitcoin Mining is a very interesting and profitable process. If you want to learn more about it you can get some more info right here.
So to summarize. Bitcoin is a new form of currency that no individual, group or organization has control over, and it is governed by a specific set of rules and protocols that every Bitcoin user worldwide follows.
Also, the creation of new Bitcoins is done at a controlled rate by computer hardware.
Bitcoin as a Payment Method
The very first Bitcoin came into being on January 3, 2009, when Satoshi Nakamoto mined the first block of Bitcoins, and one of the first recorded transactions using Bitcoins occurred when 10,000 Bitcoins were used to purchase 2 Papa Johns pizzas
I believe the person who purchased those 2 pizzas must be hurting real bad right now though. Considering that the current value of just one of those Bitcoins he spent that day is now a whopping $6,240 USD at today’s date of October 29, 2018
To use Bitcoins you have to first download a software program called a Bitcoin wallet. This is kinda like a digital form of the wallet you’re used to for carrying cash.
It can be downloaded to your computer or your mobile phone. You can also have a web wallet which is an online Bitcoin wallet or a hardware Bitcoin wallet which is a physical device sort of like a thumb drive or others look like a small external hard drive.
Whichever type of wallet you decide to use, it will store the relevant information like your secure private key which is what is used to access your Bitcoin addresses and carry out the actual transactions. As Bitcoins are digital. Your wallet will not be storing physical currency.
Using the hardware wallet or the one that’s installed to a mobile phone means you have access to your Bitcoins anywhere. Just as you would when carrying cash in a physical wallet.
I’ve come across a lot of companies that do business in Bitcoin. Here are just a few of those I’ve seen.
Bloomberg – A major global news provider.
Dish Network – A large cable and satellite tv company.
Intuit – A business and financial software company.
Etsy – A global marketplace for unique and creative goods.
Namecheap – A leading international web domain registrar and web hosting provider.
WordPress – A free blogging platform that is used by millions worldwide.
Tesla – An automotive and energy company specializing in the manufacture of electric cars.
Overstock – A billion dollar internet retail company.
Ok, so those I mentioned above represent some of the larger, better-known businesses. Now let me show you a few of the small businesses that use this form of currency as well.
Bees Brothers – A family run bee farming business that creates a variety of food items that incorporate their homegrown honey
Bitcoin Shirts – Online store that specializes in creating and selling Bitcoin merchandise, such as t-shirts, coffee mugs, etc.
Pizza For Coins – Buy your pizza here and have it delivered to your doorstep. They only accept Bitcoins but don’t worry. You won’t have to pay 10,000 coins like the first person who ever bought pizza with Bitcoin.
Undead Coffee – A small company that strives to bring you the best coffee. So good, they say it’s worth coming back for.
The number of payments that are being made using the Bitcoin network is definitely on the rise, and in the final quarter of 2017, the total value of transactions in this cryptocurrency was almost 150 Billion dollars. That’s a lot of money, and in this scenario, it’s no real surprise that there are now online jobs that pay with Bitcoin.
Online jobs that pay with Bitcoin
With the advent of this new digital form of currency and its inclusion to some extent among acceptable methods of payment used around the world. We are now seeing not only businesses accepting Bitcoin as payment for goods, but also it’s introduction as a viable option for paying freelancers for work done.
There are now even some Freelance companies or Online Job Boards as I prefer to call them who are paying freelancers exclusively with Bitcoin. In fact, all transactions are done using this particular cryptocurrency. Below are some of these Job Boards that have opted to make payments via this new method.
Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin presents us with a totally new view of money. Just like the US dollar and other world currencies, it is not backed by gold, silver or any other precious commodity. It is in fact backed by, nothing at all. However, unlike these other currencies, it is not under the control of any world government or financial institution. This makes it free and independent.
For the freelancer, some benefits of taking online jobs that pay with Bitcoin are:
- Avoidance of hefty withdrawal fees as charged by some of the Online Payment Gateways
- Secure payments as payments can be sent from one Bitcoin wallet address directly to another wallet address.
- Anonymity as you do not need to reveal your personal details as a prerequisite to getting paid.
- Global availability as you can get paid in Bitcoin wherever you are in the world. Therefore avoiding the problems some face where they cannot receive payments from certain payment processors because they live in a particular country.
- Transactions cannot be reversed.
Maybe at some time in the future, we may see cryptocurrencies totally replacing our existing currencies or maybe they will come to co-exist comfortably side by side as components of our global financial marketplace.
Whatever the long term future outcome, it seems clear that Bitcoin and other such digital currencies could very well represent the future of money on our planet and I hope that I have been able to shed a bit of light on the question posed at the beginning of this post. That of What is Bitcoin and how does it work? As well as how it is impacting the freelancer community online.
Please feel free to share your views, insights, and comments. I look forward to hearing from you.