12 Oct '12, 7pm

The murky world of digital currency << @caleballison investigates the popular, but mysterious, Bitcoin network

The concept of digital money is not new. But one of the most recent incarnations, Bitcoin, is gaining widespread appeal. Launched in 2009, it is a type of crypto-currency which exists as computer code and is not tied to any physical currency or commodity. The system has no central bank or issuer and no disputes service, and once a transaction is completed it cannot be undone. Users of Bitcoins can remain anonymous, making the currency popular for trade in illicit drugs, weapons and other illegal activity. There is also no public face to the currency, which is run and administered entirely by the online community. In New Zealand, a Customs officer charged with drug offences was caught earlier this year using a hidden website called Silk Road, which allows users to buy illegal drugs using Bitcoins. But it is also touted as an alternative to the government- and corporate-cont...

Full article: http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/murky-world-digital-currency...

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