I am a judgment matchmaking expert that writes often. Bitcoin is a payment system based on a proprietary form of digital token currency. Bitcoin is a bartering system that is an alternative to paying with cash, checks, PayPal, or credit cards. Bitcoin provides a private (or perhaps even a clandestine) way to pay for things. My guess is that unfortunately, some Bitcoin transactions are probably used to purchase illegal services or things.
The advantage of Bitcoin is that it preserves your privacy. Bitcoin has many disadvantages, including:
1) Although Bitcoin has its charms, it is proprietary and is not part of, or backed by, any government. Only a finite number of Bitcoins have been created, which helps make Bitcoins seem to be more valuable than they actually are. By limiting the number of coins made, combined with the hype, have pushed up the price of Bitcoins.
2) Some of Bitcoin’s benefits may have questionable value. The advertised benefits include being able to email your friends money, it is related to gold, it offers privacy and stability, etc. The problem is, cash, checks, credit cards, prepaid money cards, money orders, bartering with something (e.g., postage stamps), wire transfers, and PayPal; seem to cover almost every payment need.
3) Buying Bitcoins is not cheap. And except for EBay, buying Bitcoins is not simple or easy; and except for (probably) EBay, some of the Bitcoin vendors seem a bit flaky. For a test, I emailed four Bitcoin exchange vendors, including two somewhat close to me, and none of them responded. When you buy Bitcoins, there are no refunds.
4) In my tests, the software to create a Bitcoin “wallet” on your computer seemed slow and buggy. I tested two different Bitcoin wallet programs, and it seemed as if they would have taken days to finish coordinating things with Bitcoin’s remote server network.
5) I would guess that because Bitcoins are totally secure and private, and because they can be used to buy anything anywhere, using them might help get you on the government’s radar. Who knows, maybe that person selling unobtainium that you can only buy with Bitcoins, is actually with some police department, looking to bust you.
6) With Bitcoin, the chances of getting ripped off for purchases vastly increases, because almost no seller information is shared with the buyer, such as their name and address.
I might be wrong; and perhaps Bitcoin usage will grow, and more Bitcoins will be issued, and it will become standard on mobile devices, and be accepted by almost every conventional store, for example Amazon and Apple. Right now, the ways to pay for Amazon purchases with Bitcoins are all flaky. Also, when you want to trade Bitcoins for conventional products, the markups you must pay make what one pays to exchange foreign currency at an airport, seem low.
I think I am right, and most people should not mess around with Bitcoin. If one experiments with it, be sure not to spend more than you are willing to lose. Often, paying with Bitcoins, one cannot guarantee the seller, the delivery of anything purchased, or that one day it might be made illegal, or that the bubble of excitement over Bitcoin will one day burst.