I've heard about Bitcoin! Where can I learn more?

 Welcome to Bitcoin.  Bitcoin is a revolutionary new technology that harnesses the power of the internet to transfer money from person to person, without any need to go through those silly banks.   Below is a quick video from Weusecoins explaining some of the Basics of Bitcoin.

I've got a bit of time to kill and I'm curious about Bitcoin

Many of you may remember Joe Rogan from Fear Factor.  Well it turns out he's not a complete dope.  He produces an insane amount of long format podcasts featuring a wide range of guests.  They are often funny and entertaining along with being  highly informative.  Joe has what seems to be an insatiable curiosity and a penchant for learning.  He has a knack for asking the questions that one would find themselves asking if engaged in the same conversation.  This podcast is an excellent introduction and explanation of the Bitcoin phenomenon

I'm a business that wants to accept Bitcoin, where do I start?

 There are many companies that offer services to get you up and running quickly.  We all appreciate that your time is valuable; I think you'll be shocked at just how easy it is.
If you would like to take advantage of the efficiency and simplicity of the Bitcoin payment network, but aren't quite ready to take any risk on the fluctuations in the bitcoin price, you can choose from one of two payment processors: BitPay and Coinbase, who can convert bitcoins from customers to dollars immediately. Both will get you set up quickly and provide you with the digital widgets, bookmarks, and apps you'll need to start accepting bitcoins.  

Coinbase and BitPay will take the bitcoin that you accept, lock in the exchange rate, sell them instantly, and deposit the US dollar amount into your bank account within 1-2 days.  If you accept $25 worth of bitcoin, you will have $25 deposited into your bank account within the next 1-2 business days (minus fees).

Coinbase will do this for you with absolutely no transaction fees for your first $1 million in sales!  

Bitpay provides some of the same services for a 1% transaction fee -- Still way cheaper than credit cards processors. They offer several other tiered plans that allow you to pay a monthly subscription fee in lieu of a percentage of sales.

If you don't need to convert bitcoins immediately to dollars, then you can use free wallet services like Blockchain.info to receive payments from customers. Once you give Blockchain.info a password and an e-mail address, you can login and immediately start getting paid by displaying QR codes to customers, either on your tablet/smart phone, or just printed out on paper. You can have a single QR code for the entire business, a separate QR code for each product you sell, or even generate a new QR code for each transaction. 

Why are people in the technology sector so excited about it?

It takes an understanding of several different fields to fully appreciate the transformative effect that Bitcoin will have on the world.  Bitcoin is not just a currency or a payment network; It's a technology that allows for the the transfer of assets between people, and the participants will no longer require a trusted third-party to act as a middle man and guarantee that nobody get ripped off.  This technology can be used for anything from transferring a deed, a car title, a stock certificate, and many other properties. The video below is a presentation by one of the leading figures in the Bitcoin space talking about the larger implications of the Bitcoin "blockchain" technology.  It's about 20 minutes but definitely worth the watch.

Why are investors and people that work in finance NOT excited about it at all?

In short, it's going to result in a drastic reshaping of the business models of  every business within the financial industry.

Remember MF Global? John Corzine devastated clients' wealth when he used their money to pay for some bad bets on the European bond market. Harnessing the power of the Bitcoin blockchain would prevent these things from happening in the future. In fact, many of the traditional roles that brokers fill will no longer be necessary. Of course, there will always be a demand for educated and professional financial advice, but we will no longer need to pay brokers handsomely and trust them just to act as guardians of our assets. With Bitcoin, you can be your own broker, and your own banker.

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