The idea of using Bitcoins instead of “normal” monetary currencies has been getting a lot of attention lately, and a lot of people seem to be wondering why anyone would want to use Bitcoin in the first place. This is, of course, a question worth pondering, but I think it has been sufficiently addressed. Entrepreneur and software engineer Marc Andreessen has persuasively argued in favor of Bitcoin, highlighting several advantages of Bitcoin over conventional currency. Consider for a moment that one of the characteristics that makes Bitcoin a completely revolutionary currency is that it can be divided into very small amounts. While a U.S. dollar can be divided into no more than one hundred parts – or up to 2 decimal places – a Bitcoin can be partitioned into a number with 8 decimal places. This is actually very exciting and opens up a whole new world of possibilities, and Marc Andreessen points out that the ability to send very small amounts of money (“micropayments”) can be harnessed for beneficial purposes. For instance, Bitcoins could be instrumental in filtering out spam: if posting a comment to a given site required the commenter to pay a very small fee in Bitcoins, then spammers would almost certainly be hesitant to post. Since the effectiveness of spam relies on the volume of spam, having to pay for spam content would basically defeat the whole purpose of spam. On the other hand, individuals who genuinely have something to say would not be affected all that much since the “Bitcoin fee” would be extremely small (say, thousandths of a penny).Read more!