In the early days of the currency, people would digitally mine bitcoins, much like how people once mined and collected gold. However, the prospector’s pick and safe have been replaced with mining software such as GUIMiner and bitcoin wallets (encrypted online bank accounts).

While this type of bitcoin mining is still possible, novice miners are competing with organizations using supercomputers and have little chance of striking gold. And even if they do find a coin, hanging on to it isn’t much more secure than hiding it under your mattress. While coins can be stored digitally on an encrypted drive, the bitcoins will be inaccessible if the drive is lost or corrupted. You can find stories on the internet about people who threw away their hard drive or misplaced their USB drive and lost millions in bitcoins. Also, digital wallets are vulnerable to cyberattacks. In 2017, more than $70 million in bitcoins were stolen.

It is more secure to obtain and save bitcoins through exchange.

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