I'm probably incredibly ignorant about this, but wasn't bitcoin invented by some dude where he hid a limited amount and made people "mine" for them?
Bitcoin's creation is credited to "Satoshi Nakamoto," which is almost certain to be a pseudonym for an individual or group of individuals.
There will only ever be 21,000,000 bitcoins. Currently there have been about 12,000,000 mined. The last bitcoin to be mined will happen somewhere near the year 2140. The inflation rate halves every 4 years.
"Mining" is a bit of a misnomer. Miners are actually securing the network and processing transactions. As a reward for their efforts, the bitcoin protocol awards them new coins (again, at a decreasing rate) plus any included transaction fees.
Further, are the only reasons bitcoin appears to be valuable because of its scarcity and its sketchy consumer base? e.g. SR shuts down and the value drops considerably.
The scarcity is key. However, just FYI, the price of a bitcoin nearly doubled after the SR got shut down.
This post was edited on 10/31 at 1:38 pm