22 Jul '13, 1pm

BitCoin Basics: The Cool Virtual Currency Gets Real - MainStreet #bitcoin

NEW YORK (MainStreet )—So what's wrong with actual U.S. dollars? Meet the twenty=first-century cool currency, Bitcoin - the virtual, peer-to-peer currency that operates without the backing of any nation state and which is making a run at becoming the hipster currency du jour . [Read: Avoid Popular Stocks like the Devil ] "Bitcoin is the online equivalent of a bag of cash," said Kevin McIntyre, an economics professor at McDaniel College in Maryland. Two distinctive facts about Bitcoin: anonymity is baked into the system ("it's almost impossible to match up a person with a transaction," said McIntyre) and almost all transactions are irreversible. That latter fact appeals to merchants - who are pestered by "chargebacks" when credit card companies void a transaction and leave the merchant out of the money. A third fact: Bitcoin transactions involve negligible transaction fees,...

Full article: http://www.mainstreet.com/article/money/investing/bitcoin...

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