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  |   Digital Currency


Common myths surrounding bitcoin

Bitcoin accepted here sign (Francis Storr/Flikr)

There are a number of misconceptions about bitcoin among people. Owing to the plethora of information circulating on internet, it's bound to be sometimes inaccurate and downright misleading as well.

Myth 1: Bitcoin is for criminals

People took notice of bitcoin when Silk Road trial came to limelight and Ross Ulbricht, the mastermind behind the underground drug market place was found guilty.

However, many legitimate bitcoin companies are also growing and making their mark in the cryptocurrency ecosystem.

There is a budding ecosystem of legitimate bitcoin companies. Plug and Play Tech Center, an early investor in PayPal, unveiled a new bitcoin exchange Netopia in May. BitX, a South East Asia and Africa-focused bitcoin startup recently raised $4 million in a round led by South Africa's third largest company, the Naspers Group.

Moreover, with New York's BitLicense and California bitcoin bill one can see that efforts are being made to regulate the bitcoin business.

Myth 2: Bitcoin transactions are anonymous and untraceable

The anonymity characteristic has been always associated with bitcoin mainly as users are not required to provide a Social Security number, bank account or other identifying details in order to transact the digital currency. However, this does not make it anonymous or untraceable. In fact, every bitcoin transaction is recorded on blockchain, which prevents users spending the same bitcoin twice. Besides, the final BitLicense regulation requires bitcoin businesses to record personal information of its users (through the KYC norm).

Myth 3: Bitcoin is only for 'techies'

Few years back, only a handful of merchants accepted bitcoin as a form of payment for a product or service. However, the number has increased by leaps and bounds with more and more innovative merchants installing bitcoin payment-processing services in their stores and integrating the digital currency into their POS and ordering systems. Big names are entering the space, including Dell, DISH, Twitch, Microsoft, Wikipedia, Greenpeace, Expedia, and PayPal, among many others. 

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