BitCoin: What It Is, How It Works, and Why It Matters


Guests: Tom Standage and Robert McMillan

The digital currency “Bitcoin” was launched in 2009 and its value reached a high at the end of 2013. Bitcoin has no central banking agency and instead functions as a peer to peer payment system. Bitcoin owners can exchange the currency for traditional money, “mine” for bitcoins, or transfer currency with other users. Its attractiveness across the globe has led many governments to consider regulating its use. While some are wary of the cryptocurrency with news of Bitcoin theft and other criminal activity, it is clear that it is making waves in the digital world. In this hour of Radio Times, we’ll discuss how Bitcoin works and why we should care with TOM STANDAGE, the Digital Editor at The Economist and editor-in-chief of its website,, and ROBERT MCMILLAN, a senior writer with WIRED.

WHYY is your source for fact-based, in-depth journalism and information. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on financial support from readers like you. Please give today.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal