Bitcoin

Tiger Pixel / Flickr / Creative Commons

What began as a pet project for computer programmers and digital-privacy activists is today a financial technology worth billions of dollars. Author Nathaniel Popper takes us behind the scenes of that dramatic transformation and looks ahead at how this digital currency could shape the global economy of the future.

Ryan Lessard / NHPR

At 32 years old, Republican Andrew Hemingway would be the youngest governor in the history of New Hampshire.

That, coupled with his being known primarily as a political activist, makes his candidacy a bit of a long shot. But Hemingway is banking on his traditional conservative values coupled with his tech savvy.

The digital currency will be taxed like stocks. The IRS ruling provides some clarity to Bitcoin users and business owners who accept the virtual currency. But it means lots of record keeping.

antanacoins via Flickr/CC - http://ow.ly/uKtNw

Describing the virtual currency Bitcoin can be challenging. Sometimes the more questions you ask, the more complicated it sounds.

Perfect Hue, EnvironmentBlog, & Jarrod Carruthers via flickr Creative Commons

It’s been called “gold for nerds,” and “heaven for speculators.” The media love it, criminals have been buying illegal goods with it, and investors are lining up to buy it. But is Bitcoin the next great thing? Today on Word of Mouth: the prospects and pitfalls of bitcoins. Plus, we look at a new exhibit on the paradoxical power of poison in myth, murder, medicine, and history. And while we’re on the subject of snakes, Producer Taylor Quimby visited the New England Pet Reptile show in Manchester this past weekend and found some warm blooded mammals cuddling their cold blooded pets. Listen to the whole show below or click Read More to listen to individual segments.

kristagonzales67 via Flickr Creative Commons

Earlier this month, the F.B.I.. shut down Silk Road, a black market website that the bureau described as “the most sophisticated and extensive criminal marketplace on the internet today.” Buried in the “dark web,” Silk Road allowed its users to anonymously trade virtually every drug imaginable in addition to other illegal goods and services that included counterfeit and murder. 

Though the site has been stopped in its tracks, similar online websites remain in business. Topix.com has provided an open forum for black market trading for many years and is still going strong. Matt Stroud is a Verge contributing writer covering law, business and scams.