Wednesday word: bitcoinApril 3, 2013
Bitcoin is an online medium of exchange. Rather than being regulated by monetary authorities, bitcoin digital currency was devised by unelected, anonymous Internet users. Investopedia defines bitcoin as:
A decentralized digital currency that enables low-cost payments without the need for central authorities and issuers. Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer (P2P) currency system created in open source C++ programming code. Bitcoins can be accessed from anywhere in the world with an internet connection. Once a user has Bitcoins, they are stored in a digital wallet. Bitcoins can then be sent to anyone else who has a Bitcoin address. Bitcoin was developed in 2009 and based on the works of an individual or group of individuals known as Satoshi Nakamoto.
Like earlier forms of digital cash, bitcoin operates outside the conventional currency system. It may allow for greater individual freedom in transactions, but it is difficult to trace and can be used for criminal activity such as sanctions evasion or buying contraband.