Bitcoin functions as not only a currency, but also a payment network for that currency. Bitcoin is an intriguing technical feat.
It is both a digital currency unit and a global payment network through which one can send and receive the Bitcoin currency units.
It is kind of like peer-to-peer technologies, such as file-sharing, torrents and telecommunication.
When viewing Bitcoin as a currency unit, compare it to other currencies or not. We are all familiar with euros, dollars, yen, gold and silver ounces.
Many companies have accepted Bitcoin, like Wordpress, the modern equivalent of the Gutenberg press. WordPress uses BitPay.com for exchanges, rates and pricing. As WordPress stated at the time:
At WordPress.com, our mission is making publishing democratic — accessible and easy for anyone, anywhere. And while anyone can start a free blog here, not everyone can access upgrades (like going ad-free or enabling custom design) because of limits on traditional payment networks.
Today, that changes: you can now buy WordPress.com upgrades with bitcoins.
PayPal alone blocks access from over 60 countries, and many credit card companies have similar restrictions. Some are blocked for political reasons, some because of higher fraud rates, and some for other financial reasons. Whatever the reason, we don’t think an individual blogger from Haiti, Ethiopia, or Kenya should have diminished access to the blogosphere because of payment issues they can’t control. Our goal is to enable people, not block them.
Bitcoin is a digital currency that enables instant payments over the internet. Unlike credit cards and PayPal, Bitcoin has no central authority and no way to lock entire countries out of the network. Merchants who accept Bitcoin payments can do business with anyone.
Reddit blog post: