A Volatile, New Currency

In January 2009, a Japanese programmer known as Satoshi Nakamoto invented Bitcoin, an online currency system that allows people to trade anonymously and securely, without incurring the transaction fees normally charged by banks.

Many commentators consider the system’s use of a decentralized peer-to-peer network to verify transactions to be ingenious, but some economists point out that it is built on unsound economic principles.

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