Bitcoin exchanges are not banks, but despite that fact many people are buying and trading in bitcoins. They developed a less than desirable reputation after it was discovered they were used to fund human trafficking and other criminal activities via The Silk Road, but they are starting to be seen as a legitimate form of currency. There are even bitcoin ATMs now at major events, which implies acceptance of the virtual currency.
There’s a virtual aspect of all currencies, in that they only have value because people generally agree they do. While bitcoin is generally being accepted as a form of currency, it still can’t be used for typical purchases the way that cash or a credit card can be. People still like bitcoin, though, because it is anonymous, instant, and users are on equal footing. There’s no benefit for the rich or penalty for the poor. It is also available anywhere there is internet, which isn’t necessarily true of traditional banking systems.
Learn more about bitcoin from this helpful infographic. It may be the currency of the future!