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Bitcoin is a digital currency and payment system, run by a decentralized peer-to-peer network of computers. Bitcoin was created in 2009 by a programmer or group of programmers under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto.[1]

For the first several years after its creation, bitcoin held limited appeal. In 2013, however, the value of the virtual currency exploded, with prices moving from $13 to over $1200.[2]


Bitcoin is essentially a software program that slowly releases new bitcoins to the network of computers (bitcoin "miners") running the software. The program is designed such that coins become more and more difficult to mine as time passes. The limit of 21 million bitcoins is expected to be reached around 2040. [3]

As the value of bitcoin surged in late 2013, it began to attract the attention of major media outlets as well as regulatory authorities. At issue is whether the use of bitcoin is tied to illegal activities such as movement of drugs and stolen goods, money laundering or tax evasion.[4] Due to the decentralized nature of bitcoin, it remains outside a central monetary authority.

John Lothian News Special Report, December 2013

On December 7, 2013, John Lothian News published a special report, "A Bitcoin for Your Thoughts" featuring:

  • a column from JLN publisher John Lothian about his thoughts on Bitcoin,
  • a short primer on the aspects of Bitcoin, and
  • a selection the best articles we have found in recent weeks.

To view the report, click HERE.


  1. How does Bitcoin work?. The Economist.
  2. Greenspan Says Bitcoin a Bubble Without Intrinsic Currency Value. Bloomberg.
  3. Bitcoin Survival Guide: Everything You Need to Know About the Future of Money. Wired.
  4. Bitcoin Tax Tips for Congress and Everyone Else. Forbes.