03 Oct '12, 6am

After a spectacular crash, Bitcoin makes a surprising comeback

“GIVE me control of a nation’s money supply, and I care not who makes its laws.” So said Mayer Amschel Rothschild, founder of the Rothschild banking dynasty. What would he make of Bitcoin, an online currency with no issuing authority whatsoever? Despite being written off following a speculative bubble and crash last year, the online cryptocurrency is still going strong, not least thanks to its ability to circumnavigate the law. Bitcoin was devised in 2009 by a mysterious figure known as Satoshi Nakomoto. It is the world’s first, and so far only, decentralised online currency. Instead of a central bank, Bitcoins can be issued by anyone with a powerful personal computer: it mints them by solving extremely difficult mathematical problems. The problems are automatically made harder to ensure that the overall supply of Bitcoins cannot grow too fast. They are traded online, with...

Full article: http://www.economist.com/node/21563752?fsrc=scn%2Ftw%2Fte...

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