3 page article that can easily be your link to throw out to people to help them catch up with Bitcoin http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2011/06/23/the_wikileaks_of_moneyFor something that few had heard of a month ago, the online currency Bitcoin tends to elicit pretty strong responses. Depending on whom you ask, Bitcoin is the "future of money," a "crypto-geek Ponzi scheme," an "online form of money laundering," or a tool for "libertarian hipsters and criminals."
The publicity has not been kind to Bitcoin, which has faced attacks from law enforcement, hackers, and cybercriminals alike. The currency's value has seen several sharp fluctuations. Early supporters appear to have lost confidence, and U.S. lawmakers are starting to ask tough questions. But shutting down Bitcoin may prove more difficult than its critics hope. And whether or not the experiment succeeds, its rise may herald the emergence of a new form of decentralized currency trading.
The above was the intro, here are some notable quotes
What makes Bitcoin unique is its peer-to-peer structure. There's no start-up company or central authority that can go out of business or be shut down by the police. Bitcoins can be purchased through online exchanges by wiring money from your bank account, and there are also sites that will provide users with a few free coins to get started.
But for its advocates, Bitcoin is nothing less than revolutionary: What peer-to-peer file-sharing did for music and movies, and WikiLeaks did for government secrets, they say, Bitcoin will do to the global economy.
"The swings are ridiculously large compared to any normal market. It's a gutsy day-trader's wet dream," he said. "This is currency trading on Internet time."
"All currencies are used by criminals. Bitcoin is no different," Andresen says. "If Bitcoin becomes widely used, crimes like identity theft will be much harder" -- because transactions are tracked by the distributed server -- "while others, like avoiding cross-border capital flow regulations, will become easier."
The disruptive power of Bitcoin on banks and central governments has surely been overstated, but these institutions might be better served to take its emergence as a warning rather than a reassurance: They may not be the only game in town forever.
Full 3 page article at http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2011/06/23/the_wikileaks_of_money