What are Bitcoins?

(Youtube Direktcoins, via Kate)

Bitcoins sind eine neue virtuelle P2P-Währung. Oder sowas. Ich habe noch nicht ganz verstanden, wie das ganze wirklich funktioniert, aber es klingt drölfmal so interessant wie Flattr. Von der We use Coins-Website: „Bitcoin is the first digital currency that is completely distributed. The network is made up of users like yourself so no bank or payment processor is required between you and whoever you're trading with. This decentralization is the basis for Bitcoin's security and freedom.“

In der The Week In-Webshow diskutieren sie das Thema eine Stunde lang mit sehr vielen Hintergrund-Infos, hier die Wikipedia-Seite über BitCoins, offizielle Seite, mehr Infos von der Website der Launch Conference:

Bitcoins are virtual coins in the form of a file that is stored on your device. These coins can be sent to and from users three ways:

1. Direct with peer-to-peer software downloaded at bitcoin.org
2. Via an escrow service like ClearCoin
3. Via a bitcoin currency exchange

Each owner transfers the coin to the next by digitally signing a hash of the previous transaction and the public key of the next owner and adding these to the end of the coin. A payee can verify the signatures to verify the chain of ownership.

The benefits of a currency like this:

a) Your coins can’t be frozen (like a Paypal account can be)
b) Your coins can’t be tracked
c) Your coins can’t be taxed
d) Transaction costs are extremely low (sorry credit card companies)

L019: Bitcoin P2P Currency: The Most Dangerous Project We've Ever Seen