02 Apr '13, 2pm

The Bitcoin Boom via @NewYorker

In this way, bitcoins are mined like gold used to be, in quantities that are small relative to the total supply, so that the supply grows slowly. There is an upper limit of twenty-one million new coins built into the software; the last one is projected to be mined in 2140. After that, it is presumed that there will be enough traffic to keep rewards flowing in the form of transaction fees rather than mining new coins. For now, the bitcoins are initially issued to the miners, but are distributed when miners buy things with them or sell them to non-miners (such as jumpy Spanish bank depositors) who desire an alternative currency. The chain of ownership of every bitcoin in circulation is verified and registered with a timestamp on all twenty thousand network nodes. This prevents double spending, since no coin can be exchanged without the authentication of some twenty thousand ...

Full article: http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/elements/2013/04/th...

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