by Adrianne Jeffries | May 22, 2015
It’s hard to believe that Bitcoin, the digital currency that approximates cash on the internet, turned six years old in January.
I started learning about Bitcoin in the summer of 2011. I first read about it in an article on Gawker about the druggie e-bazaar Silk Road, which required payment in Bitcoin because of its semi-anonymity. “Bitcoins have been called a ‘crypto-currency,’ the online equivalent of a brown paper bag of cash,” Gawker wrote.
It’s funny to go back now and read these early stories, as the media tried to wrap its head around just what Bitcoin was. “The name ‘Bitcoin’ is derived from the pioneering file-sharing technology Bittorrent,” Gawker wrote, which I’m not sure is true (BitTorrent isn’t mentioned in the white paper that launched Bitcoin).
“Bitcoins are snippets of code that use encryption to prevent counterfeiting and double-spending,” is what I wrote a little later for the New York Observer—a mangling because Bitcoin is actually a ledger system, and there is no “snippet of code” to correspond to a single coin.