by astanhaus


I smile and nod whenever someone mentions something I don’t fully understand. Until recently, that is what I did when “Bitcoin” was mentioned.

“Bitcoin” seems to be on the tip of everyone’s tongue. Wanting to avoid professional suicide, this economist-by-training dove into the details. Here’s a visual, answering the question: What is Bitcoin?

Instead of smiling and nodding, let’s fill our verbal responses with the following key words.

Virtual Currency

Bitcoin is cash for the internet. No bank or credit card company needs to butt into a transaction. And no name/ personal info needs to be exchanged when the transaction takes place. This was super handy for the bad guys and their former playground, The Silk Road.

Satoshi Nakamoto

The “creator” of Bitcoin. No one knows if Satoshi is one person or a group of people. Satoshi knows her/their stuff. Here is the pseudo-academic paper penned by Satoshi explaining the premise of Bitcoin.


I like to be paid in US$ because I know that I can purchase whatever I want using US$. Trust is key to any currency.

I like to respond to whoever brought up Bitcoin with this question, can its value be trusted or will the bubble burst?

Plus, Paul Krugman recently posed the question, is Bitcoin the wave of the future or a thing of the past?

Want more Bitcoin details? Here is a comprehensive set of videos from my favorite, Khan Academy.

Go get ‘em, Girls! Don’t let the Bitcoin convo stop with you!

(Originally published on Amanda Stanhaus’s financial literacy vocab blog: XO, Bettie Vocab.)