You can accept bitcoin in a variety of ways online. There are a lot of ways to send money person to person online, but if you are looking to use it as a merchant, you want something more streamlined for eCommerce.
One company that allows you accept payments is Coinbase.
Their platform allows you to embed a payment button on your website or blog, accept Bitcoin in a shopping cart like Magento, Zen Cart and more. You can also accept bitcoin in person using your phone as a (POS) device. They even give you the option to send email invoices and they have an API for programmers as well.
Optionally Accept Bitcoin & Receive U.S. Dollars
If you do not want to be exposed to the volatility of the bitcoin market (with exchange rates fluctuating daily), you can opt to set your prices in your local currency (such as U.S. Dollars) and when the customer pays, your bitcoins are immediately converted to your local currency and deposited into your bank account.
So basically, you can accept bitcoin, price in U.S. Dollars, and have the money deposited into your account in U.S. Dollars. This allows customers to pay in the currency they want (bitcoin) and you accept the money in the currency you want (U.S. Dollars).
Where to Sign Up
You can sign up at their website here: Coinbase
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What is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is a type of digital currency in which encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of units of currency and verify the transfer of funds, operating independently of a central bank.