How often these days do you tell someone they can “take it to the bank?” Not very often. This once-common idiom used to be a way to express just how rock-solid a promise was. After all, banks used to be a much safer place to store your money than, say, under the mattress. When you took something to the bank, one could trust in the safety of his or her life savings. The bank represented guaranteed protection so telling someone a promise was one they could “take to the bank” assured that the promise was rock-solid. In the modern day, however, that’s all changing — which is why that idiom is going the way of the dodo.
For one thing, how often do you actually, physically take your money to the bank these days? Most of us rely on wire transfers rather than physically depositing cash. Even getting paid sends our paychecks straight into a bank account that we can access online or on our smartphones. Digital technology brought us the easy accessibility of digital banking and money available at our fingertips. However, that ease also comes with increased worry about issues like hacking, credit card fraud, and identity theft.
The changes to banking over recent years — plus the financial scares of things like hacked accounts — have led to the search for a better and more secure option. This is where Bitcoin steps in. Unlike most currencies around the world, including dollars and euros, there is not a physical component to Bitcoin; it is entirely digitally based. As an average user, you may not notice much of a difference. You can pay with Bitcoin in a similar way to paying with a smartphone app. The money comes from your Bitcoin wallet, instead of your bank account, and gets transferred over to the vendor you’re paying.
So what’s the difference between spending dollars digitally and spending Bitcoin? The high-level answer is, “not much.” Bitcoin is still money you have earned or exchanged, just like dollars or other currency. The primary difference is how that currency is protected. There aren’t banks for Bitcoin; at least, there aren’t banks in the traditional sense. Instead, Bitcoin is decentralized; it lacks a single, unified organization to maintain authority over it, so it isn’t limited to one nation or political authority (like the EU). The security and control instead comes from how the entire system is built and encrypted.
Bitcoin Control and Safety
The primary ongoing workforce that maintains the Bitcoin network is, surprisingly, a group of volunteers. The volunteer coders, or miners, have an open network of computers across the globe, a network that isn’t owned by anyone. Miners run processes that verify every transaction made in the Bitcoin system and are rewarded with a chunk of Bitcoins for the work. This helps keep the system well-encrypted and running smoothly without relying on a central bank or other authority to manage everything.
Securing Your Bitcoins
The other big draw for many is that Bitcoin is anonymous. You don’t need to bring six forms of ID, half your life savings, and your firstborn just to open an account. You just open an account, and all transactions are identified by your Bitcoin information, rather than personal information. Since you can’t just shove your Bitcoins under a mattress, you need a way to store them securely (and virtually). Bitcoin wallet platforms operate similarly to banks and store your Bitcoins in your personal wallet on the encrypted network.
Since your ‘bank account’ with Bitcoin is entirely digital, there are layers of protection to help keep your account secure and minimize the risk of data breaches. Each digital wallet holds a Bitcoin address; this isn’t actually little digital bits of currency, it’s your transaction history showing all incoming and outgoing currency. To keep your Bitcoin address secure but usable, you’ll have a couple of different pieces of information. The public address also called the “public key,” is a string of 34 characters that reference your transaction history. This is what you would share if you wanted to purchase something with your Bitcoin. However, the transaction won’t be complete without a private key as well. The private key is your electronic signature, in a sense, authorizing the transaction. You could share your public key with the world and it wouldn’t matter; no one would be able to get at your Bitcoin account without the private key to authorize the transaction.
Since your private key is necessary for any transaction, it’s vitally important to keep it well protected but still accessible (to you). Bitcoin wallets are only as secure as your information, after all. One good way to keep your Bitcoin address handy but secure is to set up something known as a paper wallet. A paper wallet is a document with generated codes on it that can be used to initiate transactions, often with the help of handy QR codes, but has a completely random Bitcoin address and private key. For even better tamper-resistant technology, there are options to generate and print both public and private keys with offline software, so malware and other hacking technologies can’t track keystrokes and try to scam that information.
TerraSlate Waterproof Paper
The problem with paper wallets is that they are, well, made out of paper. If something happens to destroy your paper wallet, you’ll need to hope you have some sort of backup way to access your Bitcoins. But, not to worry, TerraSlate has the solution. Generate your paper wallet codes as you choose, then print it on our waterproof paper. As the name implies, our waterproof paper is totally waterproof, but it’s also tear-proof, colorfast, and works with a standard inkjet printer. The color and clarity are sharp and will remain so through tough wear and tear. You won’t need to worry about sealing a plastic bag with special serialized stickers or anything like that. Just print your paper wallet, tuck it somewhere safe, and get going!
See our write-up on Bitcoin.com about TerraSlate Crypto Wallets - https://news.bitcoin.com/extreme-cold-storage-fortress-solitude-bitcoins/At TerraSlate, we want our waterproof paper products to work for your needs. Shop everything from waterproof printer paper to waterproof adhesives and more online!