- This episode first aired on Today in Focus, the Guardian’s world day by day information podcast
The Guardian’s UK know-how editor, Alex Hern, talks to Rachel Humphreys in regards to the cryptocurrency bitcoin, which permits individuals to bypass banks and conventional fee strategies. It makes use of a blockchain – a shared public file of transactions – to create and monitor a brand new kind of digital token, one that may solely be made and shared in accordance with the agreed-upon guidelines of the community. At its coronary heart, bitcoin is a giant database of who owns what, and what transactions had been made between these house owners. However not like a standard financial institution, there isn’t any central authority working that database.
Bitcoin’s worth has not too long ago soared and the UK financial regulator, the FCA, is concerned that crypto funding companies could possibly be overstating potential payouts or understating the dangers from investing in bitcoin and merchandise associated to the digital foreign money. It’s a newer and comparatively evenly regulated market, and shoppers are unlikely to have entry to state-backed compensation if one thing goes improper. There has additionally been a growth in bitcoin scams.
Alex tells Rachel why he thinks bitcoin’s use is restricted and discusses whether or not it ought to be banned.
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