Through a colleague, I became recently interested in bitcoin mining. It is very interesting how, such a parallel economy proposed as a utopia by Satoshi Nakamoto (thought to be a pseudonym) in his paper back in 2008, has become an actual parallel economy worth billions of dollars.

Unlike any other “centralized” stock market, the P2P-based economy of bitcoins is erupting like diet coke mixed with Mentos, with a per-bitcoin value that seems unbounded. At the time this article was written, the valuation was at 90$, making quite some return of investment for the lucky (and smart and visionary) ones that started mining bitcoins months ago.

As of now, despite it is difficult to turn bitcoins into actual cash, the number of sites that accept bitcoins as payment are soaring. Reddit was a recent addition to a very long list of such sites. I have even heard of a site that will buy stuff for you on Amazon and you pay them in bitcoins (they keep a small percentage, of course).