Bits of Coin

Maximum PC - - COMMENTS -

I read with in­ter­est your ar­ti­cle “The Rise of New Money” in the Novem­ber 2017 is­sue. I’m still hav­ing a hard time get­ting my head around how cryp­tocur­rency works. I have two ques­tions I’ve never seen ad­dressed: If I don’t mine cryp­tocur­rency, how do I ob­tain the cur­rency? And let’s say I have ob­tained one Bit­coin, and its value cur­rently is $ 5,000. Now I go to a re­tailer who ac­cepts Bit­coin, and I buy a $1,000 TV. In what form do I get my $ 4,000 change? Are there frac­tional Bit­coins?

– Jack Man­gold

EX­EC­U­TIVE ED­I­TOR ALAN DEXTER RE­SPONDS: The time to mine Bit­coins has def­i­nitely passed, but you can still buy and sell them using a Bit­coin ex­change (such as Kraken, Coin­base, and so on). Once you do buy Bit­coins (or a fraction of a Bit­coin), they’re held on the ex­change in a wal­let, and any left­over coins (or frac­tions of) are left in the wal­let. At the time of go­ing to press, Bit­coin is en­joy­ing an­other one of its vo­latile mo­ments, which has seen its price hit over $10,000. So, buy­ing a TV would leave plenty of coin left in your wal­let for fu­ture pur­chases or in­vest­ment. We’ll be vis­it­ing cryp­tocur­ren­cies again soon, with prac­ti­cal ad­vice for deal­ing with them on a day-to- day ba­sis.

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