Bitcoin's Radical Days Are Over.
Here Is How to Make It Mainstream.
by David Wolman, WIRED
Done right, it could put small ecommerce sites on a level playing field with the likes of Amazon and Apple. Instead of running from Bitcoin, we should commandeer it from the radicals and make it work for the rest of us.
This cashlike quality largely results from Bitcoin’s fulfillment system. Picture a 19th-century shopkeeper’s ledger. Bitcoin works similarly, except that instead of the ledger sitting on one person’s desk, Bitcoin’s ledger—called the “block chain”—is distributed over the entire network. There’s a shared record of every Bitcoin-denominated transaction ever, with the user info concealed by encryption. So while all Bitcoin network activity is essentially public (to protect against double spending), identities are private.
t’s time to empower a central authority to help regulate Bitcoin as it grows. There’s already some precedent for such a move: Just this past summer, a group called the Digital Asset Transfer Authority formed to establish guidelines for digital currencies, including safeguards against money laundering. And leadership, despite all the rhetoric about decentralization, has already proven crucial to Bitcoin’s survival.