January 24, 2014

Excerpt from The Source blog

The new international digital currency Bitcoin has found itself in the news quite a bit over the past couple of years. The novelty of Bitcoin’s story is attractive — a currency not beholden to any central bank nor any state is something that causes imaginations to run, and makes us review the relationships between the deals we make and the stuff we use to transfer value in those deals. Dollars are, after all, only one (supremely popular) means of facilitating payment.

Beyond that rich area for thought lies the fact that Bitcoin’s value in dollars has, in the long term, climbed sharply. Some see a speculative bubble destined to messily pop, some see the early days of a permanent and true digital currency. Many lie somewhere in the middle while a whole lot of folks are left wondering what the heck Bitcoin is.

What is Bitcoin?
I don’t want to make anyone’s eyes glaze over, but the fact is, explaining Bitcoin properly requires a lot of computer-nerd vocabulary and experience. As readers of The Source already know, I have a some depth in technology topics. The question is: can I explain Bitcoin without drowning anybody in jargon? Let’s try:

The simplest and most useful way to put it is like this: Bitcoin is a “secure” way to carry value on your computer or pad or phone. You convert dollars to Bitcoins (BTC) using an Bitcoin exchange and you carry around and spend Bitcoins in the same way you carry around files on your computer or send messages such as e-mail or text.

That’s it, for now anyway. The hows, wheres and whens are all nerd stuff and I’ll be glad to answer any questions in comments. But for now: Bitcoins are magic pieces of digital information that carry value measured in dollars. Or Euros. Or Yen, etc.

Read the full story on The Source blog — On Bitcoin and Property Prices: Nowhere Near Ready for Prime Time



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