A novel financial revolution—cryptocurrency—is providing a new dimension to the way we think of money, wealth and bitcoin ppcoin value. Bitcoin is the new rage in the world of money, and by extension, life.

On June 22 this year, the Punjab Police arrested six people for kidnapping a Patiala trader, Ashu Jain. The police said an MBA graduate, Deepak Sharma, was the gang leader. The ransom demand: 20 bitcoins. Why do criminals demand it as ransom?

When the gang kidnapped Jain, a single bitcoin was worth `2 lakh. At the time of going to press, it is around `5 lakh. This translates into nearly three times the return on investment in six months. At its very basic level, cryptocurrency is a digital or virtual currency that uses cryptography for security. Lalit Singla, senior project manager, Infosys.

He goes on to add that a defining feature of cryptocurrency is that just like human beings, it grows organically and each unit is actually unique, in the strictest possible definition of the term. What is the bitcoin then? A bitcoin is a type of cryptocurrency invented or created to form a digital cash system that is secure and run without any central authority. Bitcon is just one type of cryptocurrency. Gaurav Rai, chief technical officer and director, Techbit Solutions Pvt Ltd, a company based at Mohali, Punjab. Bitcoins are created as a reward for a process of coding known as mining. They can be exchanged for other currencies, products, and services.

Transactions take place between users directly, without an intermediary. Singla puts it, has gone on to become the rage in finance and become so expensive? At today’s rate of around `5 lakh a bitcoin, it is almost four times India’s per capita annual income. A bitcoin is an information technology breakthrough that acts as a tool for the storage, verification and auditing of information, including digital representations of value. Digital representations of value’ did not seem something that the kidnappers’ gang seemed to be after when they demanded 20 bitcoins as ransom.