Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer monetary system in which all transaction records are public. Participants can use its open-source software to transfer virtual currency to one another as easily as they might send an email. Bitcoin opens an uncharted world of new possibilities to explore. We'll follow the stories of entrepreneurs and startups that are helping shape the new financial frontier. We'll look at the competitive mining market and the various subcultures within the Bitcoin community." You'll encounter a variety of characters and opinions as we examine the social and political impact of an open-source digital currency. Will the rise of Bitcoin bring a monetary paradigm shift that will forever change the world? Supposedly invented by a mysterious Japanese man named Satoshi Nakamoto (whose current whereabouts are unknown). Because it is designed to have an absolute ceiling of 21 million Bitcoins in circulation (not anticipated until 2040), and the system has no central depository or administrative authority, it has great appeal to libertarians and others who seek alternatives to a perceived corrupt, manipulative banking infrastructure and excessive government regulations. Its low processing fees compared with those of mainstream credit-card companies also hold considerable allure for merchants.