Bitcoin: Digital Currency goes viral...

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R Bailey
Joined: 5 Aug 2008
Bitcoin: Digital Currency goes viral...

more info here:

Need to buy bitcoin with credit card first or "mine" bitcoins with a graphics card on your computer.

The computational "mining" process is used to keep the system secure and trustworthy. At present the combined processing power of bticoin miners is greater than the top 500 super computers - combined.

The system is set up as decentralised digital cash with all transactions being anonymous (to a point) and encrypted and verified by consensus. Transactions are irrevocable.

The system has been designed with the intended use as a global currency. There are no central banks and almost no limits to this currency.

I have "mined" 1 bitcoin in the last week with my computer which is somewhere between $15-30 USD (it is a very volatile currency at present).


Craig Ambrose
Joined: 1 Jun 2008
While I love the idea of a

While I love the idea of a peer-to-peer currency that governments don't control, bitcoins are essentially mined using electricity. The amounts of electricity currently used mining bitcoins around the world is non-trivial (around 7000 kW, 24 hours a day). In particular, when regular folks mine bitcoins on their desktop computer CPU's (rather than a specialised GPU rig), it's much more energy intensive per bitcoin.

I'm not discounting the notion, and there is in fact a detailed rebuttal of my own point in this article here, which I'm not sure I fully understand:

However, on the surface, it would seem like bitcoins are not really compatible with a Transition Town approach, where we would prefer to see our economics based on real local things that matter (food, water, useable energy), rather than on proof that energy was wasted.

Rimu's picture
Joined: 17 May 2008
This is the best discussion

This is the best discussion about BitCoin that I have come across Various pros and cons are thrashed out by people who make a decent case for each.

All in all, I'm inclined to favour the sceptics on this one. In particular the built-in deflation seems mightily problematic, as does the extreme volatility in exchange rates that it is currently experiencing.

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