As financial crises around the world contribute to a growing uncertainty about the global economy, many investors and ordinary citizens are turning to an online currency, bitcoin, to protect their funds. And with more than $1 billion now in circulation, this esoteric monetary system has exceeded the values of 20 national currencies.
Despite its increasing value, bitcoin is still relatively unknown. Bitcoins do not exist in physical form, and they are not created or regulated by any government or central authority.
Rather, a computer code manages the digital currency and then distributes new, limited bitcoins to given servers at a scheduled rate. They can then be bought and sold using regular money, including U.S. dollars.
The online currency was introduced in 2009 by a pseudonymous developer named Satoshi Nakamoto. Nakamoto’s true identity has never been revealed, and “he” is thought to be a group of people. Despite its mysterious creation, bitcoin caught on quickly and has since soared in popularity.
The most recent increase in demand for bitcoins can be attributed to what is happening in Cyprus and other European countries, where authorities are threatening to seize money from… (Read the rest of this article at Red Alert Politics.)
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