- This episode first aired on Today in Focus, the Guardian’s international every day information podcast
The Guardian’s UK expertise editor, Alex Hern, talks to Rachel Humphreys in regards to the cryptocurrency bitcoin, which permits individuals to bypass banks and conventional cost strategies. It makes use of a blockchain – a shared public report of transactions – to create and observe a brand new sort of digital token, one that may solely be made and shared in line with the agreed-upon guidelines of the community. At its coronary heart, bitcoin is an enormous database of who owns what, and what transactions had been made between these homeowners. However in contrast to a traditional financial institution, there is no such thing as a 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 might 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 calmly regulated market, and customers are unlikely to have entry to state-backed compensation if one thing goes incorrect. There has additionally been a increase in bitcoin scams.
Alex tells Rachel why he thinks bitcoin’s use is proscribed and discusses whether or not it needs to be banned.
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