What’s often missed about alternative currencies like bitcoin is that they weren’t just made for buying and selling things. Nor are they simply tools for financial speculation. Bitcoin is also a payment system, allowing anyone to transfer money anonymously, immediately, irreversibly—and, if you like, illicitly.
As virtual currencies grow, that could have profound implications for governments trying to keep track of and regulate the flow of money across their borders. What’s more, this ghost of a banking system is key to understanding that there’s a real demand for bitcoin—just not as a currency in the old-fashioned, pay-for-goods sense.
It is possible to remain anonymous online. Services like BitTorrent, for file-sharing, and Tor, for web broswing, route data through networks of computers in order to protect the identities of their users. Although it was developed by the US Navy, TOR has evolved into a public service, allowing political dissidents, journalists, government officials, and geeks to surf the web anonymously.
For the rest of the story: http://qz.com/75457/using-bitcoin-hackers-are-trying-to-create-an-untraceable-financial-system/