First, how much is a bitcoin worth? Let’s check out Mt.Gox, one of the oldest and most established Bitcoin trading platform, last price is $29.60 now, that’s up like 13 bucks from a month ago. Is it time to get your hands on some bitcoins (BTC)?
A little background info – Bitcoin is a decentralized digital currency built on public-key cryptography. There is a hard limit of 21-million bitcoins in total, which are released at a scheduled rate until the year 2140. As of December 2012 slightly over 10.5 million bitcoins had been created. In other words, there are about 10.5 million bitcoins remained to be mined. Internationally, bitcoins can be exchanged by personal computer directly through a bitcoin wallet or a Bitcoin exchange website like Mt.Gox.
Why is Bitcoin getting popular? – PayPal, one of the popular online payment processors blocks access from over 60 countries, and many credit card companies have similar restrictions. Some countries are blocked for political reasons, some because of higher fraud rates, and some for other financial reasons. Since Bitcoin has no central authority, there is no way to lock entire countries out of the network. Merchants who accept Bitcoin payments can do business with anyone.
Is Bitcoin widely accepted? – As of January 2013, Bitcoin is the most widely used alternative currency, Bitcoin has a market cap over 275 million US dollars. More and more name brand online merchants started using Bitcoin nowadays. On Nov 15 2012, WordPress.com, the popular blogging platform started accepting Bitcoin as one of their payment options for membership upgrades like going ad-free, and etc. On Feb 14 2013, Reddit, a social news and entertainment website started accepting Bitcoin as an addition to their existing payment options of PayPal and Google Wallet.
How to Make Money with Bitcoins?
1. Visit a Bitcoin forum, e.g. Bitcoin forum > Economy > Marketplace > Services, you can find online jobs there that will pay you in bitcoins.
2. Go to gig sites such as BitGigs, sell your services and get paid in bitcoins. A quick thought came to my mind. You know, you can kind of, well, find popular and reliable gigs from Fiverr and then repost the offers in BitGigs. You pay $5 to the Fiverr seller and maybe get paid a bitcoin at BitGigs, won’t you be making money?
3. Besides selling Bitcoin gigs, if you have some decent products / services to sell, you can consider joining this list of online and real world businesses that currently accept Bitcoin. Products or services illegal in US or Japan cannot be listed there.
4. Make Money with Bitcoin mining – According to a Bitcoin mining profitability calculator hosted by BitcoinX, there is money to be made. However, if you do not live in a country that provides cheap power, it might not be a good idea to go into Bitcoin mining (Global electricity price comparison). One major factor of a profitable Bitcoin mining business is the mining hardware that you are going to use. Meanwhile, in the market, there are mainly two popular Bitcoin mining hardware suppliers, i.e. Butterfly Labs and Avalon. An entry level mining rig, Butterfly Labs’ BitForce Jalapeno only costs $149. Also, don’t forget to check out Avalon, the second batch will be available for shipping next month.