An article in Fortune Magazine about Bitcoin that actually tries to tackle the real genius and potential of Bitcoin. It's not just a currency.
The article is behind a paywall, but here's a good excerpt:
Unfortunately, this debate is focused on the wrong thing. Bitcoin’s primary significance is not about whether it supplants cash. It’s about a revolutionary computer-science breakthrough that has the potential to upend all sorts of established industries.
Here’s an analogy: Email was the Internet’s original application, but 40 years later we all recognize that the Internet has countless more uses than just the electronic exchange of text. Likewise, currency is Bitcoin’s original application, but Bitcoin will not ultimately be defined by currency.
The key to Bitcoin is that it enables verified transactions without requiring a centralized third party to do the verifications. Kind of like the difference between handing a merchant a $10 bill and handing him a Visa card. It does so via what computer scientists call a distributed ledger, in which users are entering (or exiting) a fixed number of ledger slots (i.e., the “coins”).