Conceived in 2008, and used by over 100,000 people around the world, Bitcoin is a whole new kind of money—an electronic-based virtual currency that many of today’s top tech leaders consider the wave of the future. It allows people to buy and sell goods and services outside of banks or governments involvement; Bitcoin is an open-source system—the world’s first community-controlled monetary system. And it’s growing.
While bitcoins are still in their infancy, the potential advantages of this system have a lot of people excited. Transactions are encrypted for security and can be made anonymously 24/7 from any computer or mobile device. Simple, convenient, fast, and globally universal, bitcoins are independent of politics, regulatory constraints, and manipulation by any centralized institution.
With more and more aspects of our digital lives becoming community-run—from email, to social media, to many of today’s web-based apps and software systems—could our currency be next? Might we all soon be asking how many bitcoins it costs for that shirt or sandwich? Time will tell.
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