Bitcoin: Fact. Fiction. Future.
Despite an explosion in media coverage, virtual currencies such as Bitcoin are misunderstood. Bitcoin is more than just a new way to make purchases. It is a protocol for exchanging value over the Internet without an intermediary. Much has been written about the payment applications of Bitcoin, including remittances, micropayments, and donations. However, Bitcoin could soon disrupt other systems that rely on intermediaries, including transfer of property, execution of contracts, and identity management. As the Bitcoin ecosystem evolves and use cases emerge, the public and private sectors will face new challenges, opportunities, and responsibilities. Government may discover new methods for executing its mission as a regulator and law enforcer, while corporations may build upon Bitcoin technology to create innovative products and services. In the future, Bitcoin may even revolutionize the way we conduct business and think about work. The sooner the public and private sectors understand the potential of this new technology, the better prepared they will be to mitigate its challenges and realize the benefits of Bitcoin and other similar virtual currencies.