16 Apr '13, 11pm

Bitcoin challenges the status quo

Continue reading the main story Currency or commodity? Bitcoin's recent volatility has prompted several commentators to claim the innovation should be viewed as a kind of commodity rather than a new type of cash. Like a commodity Bitcoin is not controlled by a government or central bank. Furthermore, although new units are still being produced, the system is designed to max out at 21 million Bitcoins in about 30 years time. Just as the limited amount of gold in the ground affects the precious metal's value, so too is Bitcoin's value influenced by this artificially imposed cap. That poses a potential problem because the amount of things Bitcoins can be used to buy are increasing. As a result, it is said, Bitcoin suffers from a deflationary bias: each unit should be able to buy more goods in the future than it can today - the opposite of how currencies normally work. This cr...

Full article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-22152213#sa-ns_mchan...

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