Steve: Well, it's really, really clever. The reason that I sort of fell in love with this for the moment is, as I plowed in, I just got a big kick out of the way that the many problems associated with a sort of a floating currency, meaning a currency that isn't anchored by any central bank, there's no state sponsorship for it, I mean, and it's a real thing. Anyone who's interested, and I would encourage our listeners, if this podcast and what they hear about it makes them curious, go check it out. Just put "bitcoin" into Google, and you'll start seeing pages of stuff. And about two years ago the project was registered, a little over two years ago, by a Japanese cryptographer, Satoshi Nakamoto. And it's an open source project on SourceForge, so none of this is black art stuff. The goal is to really solve, I mean, to offer an honest-to-god, non-hobby-level, but industrial-strength, Internet-based, peer-to-peer currency where real value can be exchanged between two parties without any intermediary being involved. And that's one of the trickiest things because you've got all kinds of problems. First of all, where does the currency come from? What creates the currency? How much currency is flowing through the system? How do you monitor that and regulate it? How do you prevent it from being inflated? How do you keep people from fraudulently creating currency? How do you keep someone from, if they have some, from reusing the same currency? All of that has been solved with this system in some very clever and very new ways. Which is really what captivated my attention on this.
Next, I installed the Mac version of the Bitcoin client application, and headed over to get some free bitcoins from Gavin's Bitcoin faucet.
So far it is a definetly an interesting solution to a difficult problem: How to provide a true Internet Currency or E-Cash, which is not tied nor control by banks or soverign country. BitCoin Market Watche provides data on how BitCoin is trading against the US Dollar. Comments from PayPal on Bitcoin.
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