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Bitcoin is accepted by some of the world's best-known corporations, such as Subway, Microsoft, Intuit and Whole Foods. Is it time for your small business to join them?
Jared Hecht, an Entrepreneur contributor, explains the digital currency's advantages and disadvantages in comparison to our old-fashioned currency system.
First, what is bitcoin?
Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency or an entirely digital form of money, invented in 2009. While that might not sound interesting, what sets bitcoin apart is that it's purely person-to-person, with virtually no banks, financial institutions or government bodies standing in the way between you and your money. Bitcoin relies on a technology system called blockchain that keeps your bitcoin wallet safe and secure from fraud.
The currency's digital format also makes for faster, cheaper, easier exchanges of cash, from which many small businesses may benefit. Overall, Bitcoin's assets stem from its decentralization. Blockchain, the technology bitcoin was built on, allows you to not have to rely on a bank to process your financial transactions.