A "Crypto-currency" or "cash for the internet".

You create a "wallet" which stores your private key and public key. As with any similar cryptography, only you have the private key. You can prove you "own" the public key. You send money by signing a message with your private key that assigns value to someone else's public key.

You receive value by someone else assigning value to you by the reverse process. These transactions are confirmed to something called the "block chain" which acts as a shared accounting ledger, distributed across the Internet and updated via the Bitcoin Open Source protocol.

Contrary to popular opinion Bitcoin is NOT  an anonymous currency, in fact all transactions are visible to all and permanently stored in the block chain, however, although your transactions are public your Bitcoin address is not tied to your personal details and you only shared with the other party in a transaction (for example giving your name and delivery address to purchase physical goods) which  is analogous to cash.

In order to stop your public address being easily tracked by individuals, wallet software can use different addresses for each transaction (analogous to not showing off your wallet full of cash in public!)

How to buy Bitcoin?

You can buy Bitcoin at an exchange using Pound Sterling, US Dollars (similar to a foreign currency) or you can sell goods or services and get paid in Bitcoin directly!

If you are interested in experimenting with Bitcoin we have a brief article on how to buy Bitcoin in the UK read this and have some Bitcoin within  5 minutes...

General Bitcoin wiki with lots of information

Further details and "how to" articles coming soon. send your ideas here: