There's been a lot of hype over the past few weeks over Bitcoin, a digital currency that some are calling one of the most ingenious (and risky) inventions conceived during the Internet Age.
In layman's terms, Bitcoin is a currency that runs in some ways like traditional currency: a person can use Bitcoins online to pay for items, services or anything that regular currency allows a person to buy. Bitcoin proponents hope the currency will one day be on par with the U.S. dollar or British pound sterling as a currency investors can buy into.
This is where Bitcoin parts company with currencies regulated by governments. Bitcoin, unlike, say, the U.S. dollar, has no central bank-like issuer. Bitcoins are traded through peer-to-peer networks online through so-called "Bitcoin miners" that confirm transactions every 10 minutes.
What makes Bitcoin so interesting is how it bypasses all the traditional methods of controlling money transfers in favour of the decentralized Internet.
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