By now you've probably heard of the digital currency Bitcoin, but it's not as new as you might think. Virtual currencies have been around for more than 20 years, and Bitcoin is far from the only example. Today there are more than ever - at least 80. And there's a good reason people keep coming back to the idea of virtual currencies -
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Just a few kind words from a handful of federal officials about the positive aspects of the Bitcoin market Monday afternoon were all it took to send the digital currency rocketing from $675 to $900 in a matter of hours.
While Bitcoin prices settled back down into the $600s by Tuesday morning, the significance of the Bitcoin market's reaction should not be dismissed.
What was said at Monday's Congressional hearing before the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee marked a turning point in how the U.S. government views Bitcoin.
When you look at the numbers, it's almost surreal. In just three weeks, the digital currency known as Bitcoin has more than tripled in value. For that you can thank the Chinese. Over the past month, the volume of Chinese Bitcoin buying has increased tenfold. And when you find out why they're buying,
So here's a quick primer: Imagine a type of money that you can't put in your pocket, that you can trade like a stock, that you can earn with your computer, that enables anonymous transactions, and most importantly, has skyrocketed in value 399,900% in the past year.
That's precisely what we're talking about with Bitcoins.