This is one of the worst-written articles about Bitcoin I’ve read so far. Certainly not worthy of your publication’s name. If you don’t understand something, don’t write about it. :-p
Your description of mining is so broken I’m not even going to try to fix it. Just do some more reading of low-level descriptions until you understand how very wrong your description of miners as “decoders” is.
“…it’s a massive experiment in group trust.”
Bitcoin is far from an experiment in group trust. It’s guiding principle is *distrust* of everything but the copy of the block chain residing on your own hard drive. Your statement seems to find its roots in your ignorance of the network’s mechanics.