What is a bitcoin? Why is it important? Knowing the answers to these two simple questions may determine the fortunes of an entire generation. In this brief volume, we dedicate the first section to a brief exploration of the phenomenon of the bitcoin and its advantages and disadvantages as a medium of exchange and store of value. We also briefly explore the moral implications of chasing the monetary premium that the bitcoin has increasingly come to represent.
Having arrived at the conclusion that the bitcoin has a place in conducting trade, we dedicate the second section to what we call a roadmap to bitcoin acceptance in which we guide the user to the online tools necessary to begin to conduct business in bitcoins.
This guide is as practical as it is nontechnical. Technical explanations alone cannot adequately describe bitcoin's usefulness in conducting trade. For there is one reason and one reason only that the bitcoin, which is nothing more than a series of hashtags - mere zeros and ones encrypted and stored on digital media - has soared in value in recent weeks against the world's national currencies.
That reason is that the bitcoin is now the primary beneficiary of the monetary premium that is being forfeited by these same national currencies by virtue of their coordinated programs of rapid debasement. This fact seems to be lost upon much of the world, yet it is happening nonetheless.
It is our hope that this volume will help those with a technological understanding of the bitcoin see it through the lens of a monetary theorist, as well as inform merchants and traders of both the importance and limitations of bitcoin as a digital currency.
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