Bitcoin is a decentralised digital currency, meaning that the database used to record Bitcoins are not centrally controlled. These systems are built using a 'distributed ledger', or 'blockchain', which is a decentralised public database collectively maintained by a network of people, known as 'miners', who run the software. There is no bank or country responsible for issuing Bitcoin meaning there's no central point that can fail.
Since digital currencies leapt onto the scene in the early 1990s, they have been steadily gaining traction in the financial sector. The economic crisis in Greece and the recent slowdown in China's growth have given credibility to digital currencies as an alternative to traditional fiat currencies and led people to look for more innovative methods of transaction.
LEOcoin is already leading the way in demonstrating how a secure, internationally tradable currency, existing outside the financial status quo, can galvanise the SME sector. I see no reason why it cannot radically change the way governments do business too. Once the dam is breached we'll likely look back and wonder how we used to do finance any other way.
Yanis' reflections on digital currency have focussed on Bitcoin as the case study for his assessments of the potential they offer, and his appraisal of their potential has largely been negative. Yet this has not prevented him from examining how a digital currency of sorts could work for his native Greece.
A massive Bitcoin price drop since the dizzy heights it enjoyed a year ago, UK clearing banks refusing to open accounts for companies in the sector (even those merely supplying software or services to the sector) and the hacking Europe's largest Digital Currency Exchange, Bitstamp, have all been widely reported and referred to by the naysayers.