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The Underbelly of Bitcoin

The other day I was asked about Bitcoin and I had to confess to a fair degree of ignorance. I’d heard of it and I’d heard the price was rapidly inflating but I had a certain innate scepticism. Even more than regular money, this is a virtual currency and highly volatile (as a recent drop following Chinese government measures against its use illustrate). On the back of that setback, Charlie Stross has just published a fascinating post outlining more of the problems of a currency that is definitely not free to produce and which, by virtue of being designed to circumvent governmental controls, does seem to lend itself to dystopian scenarios where it becomes the common tender of criminal gangs.

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