I’ve been aware of Bitcoins for a few years now and have been generally curious about the concept. Lately, though, I’m being bombarded with information on it.

For the uninitiated, Bitcoin is a cryptographic digital currency that is not underwritten by any government. The software underlying the currency, which operates on a decentralized peer-to-peer network, is designed to ensure security – that it can’t be counterfeited – and to enable anonymity. What started out in 2010 as an underground currency for grey-market activities, has since grown to a $400 million worldwide market for buying everything from pizza to domain names. In an attempt to prevent inflation, the number of Bitcoins in circulation will continue to grow automatically at an ever-decreasing rate, according to the laws of its software, until reaching maximum of 21 million coins shortly after 2030. There are just over 6 million today.