Friday, February 11, 2011

Bitcoin: a CryptoCurrency for a free Internet

Bitcoin has been covered by the popular show Security Now on the TWiT network: Security Now 287: BitCoin CryptoCurrency.

I have posted to an edited version of the video (the original has a CC license), with only the 45 min dedicated to Bitcoin.

Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer digital currency. Peer-to-peer (P2P) means that there is no central authority to issue new money or keep track of transactions. Instead, these tasks are managed collectively by the nodes of the network. Bitcoin has been created in 2009 by Satoshi Nakamoto as one of the first implementations of a concept called cryptocurrency, which was first described in 1998 by Wei Dai on the cypherpunks mailing list. See also the Bitcoin page on Wikipedia.

I have been playing with Bitcoin for a couple of years and I have a few hundreds of Bitcoins (which have recently reached parity with the US dollar as reported by Slashdot). So far I have used it mainly to experiment, but recently I have purchased the first "real" service with Bitcoin. I really hope Bitcoin will be successful.

I think Bitcoin is important. We must protect the Internet and the right to free speech, pseudonimity and anonimity online, and we need a untraceable anonymous currency. Of course I realize that anonimity and cryptocurrencies can also be used by bad people to do bad things, but I think the benefits outweigh the dangers.