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From paper to plastic to Bitcoins: Changing money with time

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

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With the internet revolution gaining ground in India at a fast pace, and many initiatives on the part of the government to digitize India and take everything online, the days when money (currency) will also be completely digitized don’t seem far.

Bitcoin is one such example. For those who aren’t aware what it is, it can simply be defined as “digital money.” The advantages of bitcoin extend from zero transaction charges and to mobile platforms offering easy buy and sell options, high security and anti-wallet theft options. Handling bitcoins is extremely hassle-free. With one click on your Smartphone, you can do transactions anytime, anywhere.

Bitcoin came into existence around 2009, and is believed to be created by Satoshi Nakamoto, which can be a person or a group of persons. It once gained value steadily, peaking at about $1,100 per bitcoin in November 2013, then its value slid and is approximately $227 per bitcoin now. Also, no government regulates bitcoins yet.

Bitcoins are earned by churning data on the computer, which is also called “mining.” This is done in order to verify transactions.

“I find it (bitcoin app) extremely useful because I can buy online discount coupons and gift vouchers in exchange for my bitcoins,” said Harin Pandya, who works with an event management company in Hyderabad. “I can redeem these from Amazon, Ola and a host of other e-commerce websites.”

Despite all the shiny positives, RBI governor Raghuram Rajan doesn’t seem so convinced about the positive aspects of bitcoin. The main reason being that bitcoins fall outside the purview of regulated financial environment.

Calling them “Crypto currencies”, RBI Deputy Governor, R Gandhi, emphasized that these can be involved in money laundering, tax evasion and terror funding.”

Despite the red flag given by RBI, bitcoin’s popularity continues to rise. Banks and other financial middle-men-organizations are completely out of the picture.

“I have family in New Zealand and I can send money immediately to them using my bitcoin wallet, which they can encash there, making the transaction hassle free,” says Himanshu Sisodia, chief operating officer at Greenleaves Management.

“Though it has depreciated significantly, the value of bitcoins are bound to climb up by next January, because virtual currency is the future and the world will only get more digitised from now on,” said Pandya, adding that he is expecting to get almost 100% return on his investment in bitcoins by this year-end.

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Despite the concerns raised regarding usage of bitcoins, experts believe that with the steady pace of digitization, money is bound to become online sooner or later, and that the world cannot escape bitcoins when such a thing happens to the completion. Since digitizing India means an enhanced push into the direction of cashless transactions, bitcoins will climb up.

Citing the example of Greece, experts have also pointed out that for volatile economies undergoing crisis, bitcoins offer a good alternative.

 

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STUDY – Americans Online Almost Everytime

A study reveals that Americans are online almost everytime

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Being online constantly isn't god for anyone.
Americans being online almost every time.

More than 25 percent of Americans say they are online “almost constantly,” says a new report.

According to a Pew Research Center study conducted in January, 26 percent of American adults spend a lot of time online, up from 21 percent in 2015.

Pew also found that 77 percent report going online at least on a daily basis. Only 11 percent of American adults reported not using the internet at all.

Americans have been oberved being online almost everytime.
Americans are busy on their phones all time.

 

One reason for the increase in heavy internet use is the widespread use of smartphones. More than eight out of 10 American adults said they access the internet via smartphone “at least occasionally.” Eighty-nine percent of smartphone users reported going on the internet daily, and 31 percent said they are online almost constantly.

For Americans who access the internet via computers instead of with a mobile device, 54 percent are online daily, and only 5 percent are online a lot of the time.

Not surprisingly, younger adults are the leaders among those who report being constantly connected, with some 39 percent saying they’re online almost all the time. Almost half report going online many times a day. For older Americans over 65, only 8 percent reported being online constantly, and 30 percent use the internet multiple times a day.

Also Read: Recent Poll Reveals that 67% Americans Receive their News from Social Media

Americans between the ages of 30 and 49 report nearly the same levels of connectivity as young adults. Among those ages 50 to 64, 17 percent report being online nearly constantly, a jump of 5 percent from three years ago.

Groups reporting the most frequent internet use include “college-educated adults, black adults, adults who live in higher income households and nonrural residents,” Pew found.

More than one-third ((34 percent)) of those with a college education or more are online nearly constantly, compared to 20 percent of those with a high school education or less.

Among blacks, 37 percent reported they’re online nearly constantly, with 92 percent saying they’re connected at least daily. That compares to 30 percent of Hispanics and 23 percent of whites. Both blacks and Hispanics have seen increases in internet use, while for whites, it is stable.

Americans being online all the time.
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Income also makes a difference in how much time is spent online, Pew said, noting that 35 percent of American adults with a household income of $75,000 or more reported being online nearly constantly. For those making less than $30,000, that number was just 24 percent.

Urban and suburban Americans were more likely to be online all the time (27 percent), compared to their rural counterparts (15 percent).  VOA