12.04.2013 - Digital currencies: A new specie
Small tribes have often used unique forms of money. Until recently, west Africa’s Ashanti had perhaps the oddest. Eschewing the convenience of metal discs, stones or shells, they used metal painstakingly moulded into the shape of small chairs, representing the tribal chief’s throne. But the latest cult currency—Bitcoin—is stranger still. Invented in 2009, this computerised money exists only as strings of digital code. The Bitcoin tribe is still a small one, and consists mainly of computer geeks, drug-dealers, gold bugs and libertarians. But wild fluctuations in the value of a Bitcoin, from under $20 at the start of the year to over $200 at one point this week, has won the currency wider attention. The price may yet crash to earth. But whatever happens to Bitcoin, it shows how useful a widely accepted digital currency could be...........................................Full Article: Source