Bitcoins, the fast trending online currency, is become more ubiquitous by the hour.

Virgin Galactic accepts bit coins for space flight. Sir Richard Branson extends support.

http://mashable.com/2013/11/22/virgin-galactic-bitcoin/?utm_cid=mash-com-fb-main-link

The University of Nicosia announced it will be the world’s first to accept bitcoins as tuition payment.

http://mashable.com/2013/11/21/bitcoin-tuition-payments/

GlassPay, a Google Glass app that lets you pay with Bitcoins.

http://mashable.com/2013/10/17/google-glass-bitcoin/

The price of bitcoins surpassed $600 on Monday as the Internet-based currency’s value jumped 60-fold over a year ago.

http://mashable.com/2013/11/18/bitcoin-600/

Cyprus Gets World’s First Bitcoin ATM

http://mashable.com/2013/03/26/cyprus-bitcoin-atm/

What exactly is Bitcoin?

Watch this 1:43 min video for a quick overview:

bitcoin-logoTo start with, Bitcoin is a digital currency. That means that if two people would like to conduct a transaction (like buying a watch online for instance) so long as the buyer has the number Bitcoins the seller requires for the good or service, a transaction can be conducted. Using a digital wallet, users can securely and privately transfer a Bitcoin in a transaction. Many have simply described it as “cash for the Internet.

Where do they come from?

Knowing that it is a form of digital currency, the next logical question is, where did it come from? Bitcoin proof of concept was first published in 2009 and has been in circulation ever since. Bitcoins are found through an elaborative discovery process known as “mining.”

The mining process involves harnessing computing power to process the Bitcoin transactions and ensure the system runs smoothly. Bitcoin operates through a complex set of mathematical equations and formulas that ensure each transaction is verified and secure, and needs a wealth of computer power to operate. In order to incentivize users to assist in the mining process, users who are involved in the mining process are in turn rewarded when their systems find new Bitcoins in the encrypted computer program.

Currently, about 12 million (and growing) Bitcoins have been found, but Bitcoin itself notes that the number of Bitcoins created each year is halved until Bitcoin issuance is completely halted when supply reaches 21 million.

How much are they worth?

Like any other currency, Bitcoin has a value that is set by supply and demand. However, very uniquely, unlike any other currency, it’s not regulated by any central authority, so it can be subject to rapid changes in price. As of the most recent check, a single Bitcoin is worth about $700, but users can also have fractional amounts of them. At the beginning of November, a single Bitcoin was worth right around $200 — but the currency has seen incredible fluctuation in value.

Some more news:

 Order a pizza with Bitcoins

http://mashable.com/2013/02/06/pizza-bitcoins/

Why Bankers Want You to Fear Bitcoin

http://mashable.com/2013/04/14/bitcoin-banking-comic/

$1.3 Million in Bitcoin Stolen in Major Online Robbery

http://mashable.com/2013/11/08/bitcoin-theft-tradefortress/

These Startups Are Betting Everything on Bitcoin

http://mashable.com/2013/04/12/bitcoin-startups/

Can the Internet Replace Big Banks?

http://mashable.com/2013/03/24/douglas-rushkoff-digital-economy/

The Bitcoin Taxman Cometh

http://mashable.com/2013/06/18/bitcoin-taxes/

Bitcoin Goes to Washington: The Case for and Against Digital Currency

http://mashable.com/2013/11/18/bitcoin-senate-testimony/

8 Vendors You Didn’t Know Accepted Bitcoins

http://mashable.com/2013/03/29/bitcoin-vendors/

Time for eCommerce folks to review their payment options, maybe?