For all the hype and excitement surrounding Bitcoin, the currency has not always been easy to get started with. Early on, of course, Bitcoin enthusiasts minted their own personal fortunes with the help of their personal computers. Eventually, those relatively crude setups gave way to much more powerful ones based around dedicated graphics cards. Today, a handful of well-positioned Bitcoin miners dominate the industry thanks to their investments into purpose-built mining circuitry, making it impossible for average people even to compete.

Even as it has become increasingly difficult for regular folks to mine up Bitcoin from the ether, it has become far easier to acquire the currency in other ways. Instead of investing in specialized mining equipment and hoping that the outlays pay off before the cost of electricity overwhelms the possibility of profit, today's would-be Bitcoin owners have some far simpler options.

The most direct of these is to do business with one of the many exchanges that now offer the currency. Providing positive, heartening answers to such common questions as " can I use debit cards to pay for bitcoins?" this new wave of exchanges is making it simpler than ever before to get started with the currency.

In fact, anyone who has done a bit of online shopping pretty much knows already how to pay for bitcoin through such services. After an initial account setup and the recording of a few security-related details, new Bitcoin users can fund an account in any of a number of ways.

Those include the use of debit or credit cards, as well as the kinds of bank transfers that have long been popular. Those who own stores of other virtual currencies can often make use of those options, as well, further improving the ease of access.

Some of the traditional ways of getting started with Bitcoin might have been shut down, then, but in their places have arisen a wide range of even more accessible ones. That is good news for anyone who is interested in Bitcoin, and this new status quo seems likely to remain the norm for a long time to come.