Monday, October 17, 2011

Cooperation, De-centralized, Peer-to-Peer

Bitcoin- a digital currency

Bitcoin is a digital money network with a set number of "coins" that get bought and sold, and distributed digitally. It operates on a peer-to-peer platform, so monies are monitored by the users, or owners of bitcoin. The values fluctuate, and the concept was a response to the unstable financial markets worldwide post 2008. Cash money, like the currency in the banks depends on a lot of trust to work. Trust in the banks, trust in the government's ability to back the currency, etc. Bitcoin bypasses some of those politics by virtue of its only virtual existence. In a day where so much banking is done online anyway through wire transfers between everyone from global trading partners to individuals, bitcoin represents the ways technology has pervaded spheres of diplomacy, namely the concept of money. The concept is predicated on peer-to-peer cooperation, and on the sophisticated programming of the thing which monitors the coins travel (so as not to have the same coin used multiple times by same user, ensuring it is a one-time exchange). This space is diplomatic in how globalized it is as a concept- it is open to the public, and users have ultimate control over their investment. In a way it is an ultimate symbol of free-market commerce in the digital age.

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