18 Apr '13, 12am

Why Programmers Are Excited About Bitcoin

I’ve noticed a contrast in the way programmers and non-programmers react when they first hear about Bitcoin. And I think an analogy to cryptography helps explain it. Cryptography has been around for centuries, but until recently all the practical encryption systems people knew about were symmetrical. The encryption key could be derived from the decryption key as easily as vice versa. That was inconvenient because it meant that before you could communicate with someone securely, you had to exchange keys over a secure channel like a face-to-face meeting. Since arranging for secure key distribution was a logistical hassle, cryptography was mostly limited to military applications where secrecy was of the utmost importance. There’s another type of cryptography called asymmetric or public key cryptography. It involves a “public key” and a “private key.” It’s easy to derive the p...

Full article: http://www.forbes.com/sites/timothylee/2013/04/17/why-pro...

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