Yes low or zero fees - Bitcoin payments currently process with either no fees or
extremely small fees. Users may include fees with transactions to receive priority
processing which results in faster validating and authenticating of transactions
by the network. Additionally, merchant processors exist to assist merchants in processing
transactions, converting bitcoins to fiat currencies with daily direct deposits to
bank accounts and provide these services for much lower fees and less risk than with
Paypal or credit card networks. • Less fees and risks for merchants - Bitcoin transactions
are secure, irreversible and do not contain customer’s sensitive or personal information.
This protects merchants from losses caused by fraud or fraudulent chargebacks and
there is no need for PCI compliance. This allows merchants to easily expand to new
markets where either credit cards are not available or fraud rates are unacceptably
high. The net results are lower fees, larger markets and less administrative costs.
• More protection for consumers - Bitcoin payments are made without needing personal
information tied to the transaction. This offers strong protections against identity
theft. Users are in full control of their transactions therefore it is impossible
for merchants to force unwanted or unnoticed charges which can happen with either
ACH debits, debit cards, Paypal or credit cards. • Transparency - All information
concerning the Bitcoin money supply is readily available on the blockchain for anybody
to see, verify, measure, and use in real-time. • Distributed - The Bitcoin ledger,
commonly called the blockchain, is distributed throughout the world and stored by
Bitcoin miners. This adds a level of resiliency and redundancy that is unmatched
in the payments space and a payment processing network. For example, the Federal
Reserve does all their payment processing at 100 Orchard Street, East Rutherford,
New Jersey and have back-up systems that can be brought online within 60-90 minutes
at the Federal Reserve Banks of Richmond and Dallas. If those three centers were
compromised or destroyed then the entire monetary system of the Federal Reserve would
be greatly impaired and probably completely nonfunctional. What are some disadvantages
of Bitcoin? • Not widely accepted - Many people are still unaware of Bitcoin. Everyday
more businesses accept bitcoins because they have advantages of doing so, but the
list remains small and still needs to grow in order to gain improved usefulness through
networking effects. • Volatile - The total value of bitcoins in circulation and the
number of businesses using Bitcoin is still very small compared to what it can be.
Therefore relatively small movements in the market can significantly affect the price.
In theory, volatility will persist as the market scrambles to determine a bitcoin’s
price as this nascent currency matures. Never before has the world seen a startup
currency, so it is truly difficult (and exciting) to imagine how it will play out.
• For geeks - Many user tools are still not ready for everyone and users still need
to protect their money by themselves, or trust young online wallet services that
still don’t offer any insurance against theft or other bad events. New tools and
services are constantly being developed to make Bitcoin more accessible to the masses.
But from now, Bitcoin is a bright new invention that starts to meet the real world.
Is Bitcoin secure? The Bitcoin technology - the protocol and the cryptography - has
a strong security track record. Bitcoin’s vulnerability is in user error. Bitcoin
wallet files that store the necessary private keys can be accidentally deleted, lost,
stolen or compromised. Consequently, users need to employ security practices to protect
their money or use service providers that offer good levels of security and insurance.
As Bitcoin has grown in adoption, more service providers have appeared to make it
easier, safer, and more convenient to use and safely secure bitcoins. Bitcoins are
not covered by insurance schemes or depositor insurance like the FDIC, but could
be with a service provider that offered that service.