Bitcoin explained and made simple

bitcoin is a digital currency which aims

to do away with all the problems we have

paying for things online you may think

that the system we have is pretty good

but everything we buy today has to go

through a bank or credit card company

who take a cut of the transaction and

who rely on our trust that they'll do

everything right after a while those

payments start to build up and added to

that is security you have to trust your

card company to keep your details safe

many people have tried to work out how

to have a payment system without that

middleman but then there's another

problem how do you prove that you've

paid for something or even that you have

that money at all without someone

vouching for you it's so serious it has

a name the double spending problem then

in 2008 a solution was offered by an

anonymous programmer going by the name

of Satoshi Nakamoto Nakamoto left a

paper on a popular cryptography blog

which proposed a system of currency that

solve all of these fiddly problems his

proposal was that instead of a bank or

credit card company recording every

transaction in one central ledger all of

the users would record all of the

transactions at the same time as a

result any attempt to fool the community

would be noticed and the payment


no one user government or bank can force

a fee on a payment or control its flow

the result is a cheaper quicker and

easier way to spend money even across

national borders

so this is Bitcoin and it's already

starting to have an impact on people's

lives within months of the proposal it

was being used to buy and sell goods

although not always from the most

scrupulous of traders but it's not all

shady businesses some shopping sites

take it you can buy pints in London and

even pay for your university tuition as

you might have heard there are problems

while some are profiting from getting

involved early others are losing out

from this volatile in young market and

people are found in companies to buy up

lots of bitcoins but as it's designed to

have a limited amount ever in

circulation that might cause problems

down the road there's so much

uncertainty around Bitcoin some people

genuinely think this is the future

others are terrified it could destroy

our economy but many from both sides

agree that if we could get Bitcoin to

work or something like it if we can

trust a digital currency to work without

the middlemen then the way the world

economy functions could be transformed

for the better we all know that Stephen

Hawking has worked on some of the

biggest questions about our cosmos but

what are those ideas