The larger world didn’t start paying much attention to bitcoin until 2013. That was the year mainstream companies like Microsoft, Expedia and Dell, among others, began to accept the alternative, electronic payment method. That was also the year the Department of Homeland Security shut down the Silk Road, a “dark web” hub for illegal activity, and began to investigate the Tokyo-based digital exchange Mt. Gox, seizing millions of dollars in bitcoin in the process.
Bitcoin an electronic currency that exists but can’t be touched, that operates above banks with no central authority and is issued by collective action. It promises extensive control over capital for businesses and individuals and enables efficient transfer worldwide with no limitations or surcharges.
The currency’s site puts it simply — “bitcoins are digital coins you can send through the internet.” Bitcoin supporters and detractors alike have touted the system as having the potential to upend economics as we know it. As might be expected, bitcoin has faced pushback at nearly every