Anyone who's been around me recently knows that I love Bitcoin. It's a really neat idea, but it's also a very complicated thing. Most people that I talk to don't really understand how it works and why it was designed the way it was, and therefore have some incorrect ideas and criticisms of Bitcoin. So I am going to do a series of blog posts about it that attempt to reduce its very intricate design to simple analogies and concepts that might not be completely accurate, but that will help the non-technical person understand it a bit more.
If you don't even know what Bitcoin is, it is a distributed and decentralized currency that operates over the Internet. There is no central bank or issuer; there are no regulators. The network as a whole decides what the rules are, and the source code for the official Bitcoin client is open. You can transfer Bitcoins to anyone, anywhere in the world, in about 10 minutes -- and usually for free.
The topics I will cover in my series are:
- Basic overview: How to send and receive coins.
- Addresses: What an address actually is, and why you should care.
- The block chain: What the block chain is, and how this keeps the network secure.
- Mining: How Bitcoins are created, and why this is not "generating free money."
If you can think of any other topics you would like me to cover, let me know and I will extend the series. If you want a bit more information right now, this video is a pretty good summary of the project: