Chris DeRose was noodling away on the internet when he stumbled over an intriguing post on Slashdot, a forum for extremely online hyper-geeks like himself.
“How’s this for a disruptive technology,” a user wrote on July 11 2010, enthusiastically describing a decentralised, peer-to-peer digital currency with no central bank, no transaction fees and beyond the reach of any government. Using computers to solve cryptographic puzzles would earn people “bitcoins”.
DeRose was intrigued yet unconvinced by the concept. The young Floridian programmer struggled to see what utility it might serve. Many others on the forum were also sceptical. “Hey thanks for