Bitcoin: bringing you up to speed on a digital currency

By Onno Bakker, Joel Davis and William Doyle

While the use of Bitcoin may not presently be widely accepted like cash or electronic funds transfers, it is undeniable that the interest and market opportunities for Bitcoin are rapidly increasing.

Bitcoin is a decentralised peer-to-peer payment system that exists virtually and is unlimited by the constraints of countries, government or time. The payment system’s unit base, bitcoins, are essentially a ‘digital currency’ or cash for the digital era. With a global market capitalisation of almost AUD9bn (£5bn) (as at 7 July 2014), Bitcoin continues to grow in popularity around the world, as individuals and companies alike adopt it into mainstream transactions. Some common examples in Australia include using bitcoins to pay for food and drinks in a growing number of pubs, restaurants, patisseries and cafes. Recent reports have indicated that you can use bitcoins to purchase an off-road car or even put down a deposit on a house…

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