Unless you’ve been living in a cave you cannot fail to have been drawn into the hype that has surrounded Bitcoin. Some are saying it’s a safer haven than Gold and others are even going as far as suggesting it might save us from global meltdown. Assuming you’ve not got a handle on money supply and peer-to-peer currencies exchanges here’s a really good overview from Robert McNally that’s worth 10 minutes of your time.
Bitcoin was created in 2009 by a bloke or a few blokes or even a virtual group called Satoshi Nakamoto. It’s a form of virtual currency used to buy goods and (mainly) services online. I appreciate it’s April Fool season so I can understand if it feels like a hoax or a parody of the global economy. The technology used to implement it has shown itself to be impeccable and functional and it’s actually being exchanged – which makes it a better joke. Does it matter? Probably not.
The appeal to early adopters has got to be the “outsider” tag which suggests Bitcoin is unregulated, untaxed and 100% anonymous. This makes it an interesting proposition and has even attracted the attention of bank robbers. It all feels a little bit wild west, to be honest, but I can see the appeal. It has already attracted the attention of the ECB who appear to be taking virtual currencies seriously and the US, who are planning money-laundering regulations.
Significantly it’s moving out of the geek world and into the mind of the public, as witnessed by increasing news coverage and the volume of interest after the dramatic news that the Cyprus 60% haircut could be a model for future bail-outs.
1 Bitcoin is currently worth about £70. (link)