confused on bit coins

my friend told me about bit coins so i went home to look then up. im still confused. first of all how do i start getting them? why would i give them to some one? do they have an actual currency value (ie yen dollar peso euro etc) and what do bit coins get me? can i buy things?
Just don't bother. We've managed ok without them so far.

It's a wana be clearing system.
Looks as if one bit coin exchanges for 1 USD. I don't believe they have any tangible value by themselves. Interesting though, never heard of them until now.
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Bitcoins are a failed attempt at making a standard digital currency.
Take a look at - I haven't been able to find anywhere else that's any good at explaining it.

ResidentBiscuit wrote:
I don't believe [Bitcoins] have any tangible value by themselves

Something valuable isn't valued because it is valuable, it is valuable because it is valued. In other words, value is not an intrinsic property of a thing, it's something we bestow on things. If no-one accepted paper money, would a $5 bill still be worth $5? Of course not, the paper it's printed on is virtually worthless (p.s. I know it isn't actually printed on paper). Bitcoin only has value because people want it for some reason.

Failed attempt? I'd say Bitcoin has been pretty damn successful. It's kind of too late to get in on
it now though.
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no its not i have a friend who does it and he got me all set up and explained it to me. and they are actually worth quite a lot of money
I still do not understand the "mining" concept completely.
what it does (to the best of my understanding) is solve an algorhythm and upon solving it generates x bit coins
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