Monthly Archives: June 2015

Digital Gold: The Untold Story of Bitcoin review – where there’s geeks there’s brass

This entertaining history of bitcoin traces the cryptocurrency’s nerdy origins and vast potential

The history of money goes back a long way – at least to 2000 BC– and one way of studying the evolution of human societies (and indeed of entire empires) is to follow the money that they used. Coins evolved into banknotes which evolved into cheques which evolved into credit and debit cards, which is more or less where we are now. The big question is what happens next.

In one sense the answer is obvious: money has to all intents and purposes metamorphosed into digital bits. When you wave your new contactless debit card (or, soon, your iPhone 6) over a retailer’s card-reader, what you’re really doing is instructing a computer to reduce a number stored in a ledger on your bank’s hard drive and increase a number stored on the retailer’s bank’s ledger by a corresponding amount. No physical cash has changed hands: all that’s happened is a transfer of digital information.

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