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If you take even a passing interest in technology or finance, you’ll already know about Bitcoin. The digital currency was released in 2009 and was heralded as a decentralised network for value exchange that would take power away from governments and big banks and put it in the hands of ordinary people.
Its revolutionary ‘blockchain’ technology created a distributed public ledge of transactions and enabled nearly instantaneous, cost-free transfers of money anywhere in the world. As it gathered momentum, Silicon Valley venture capitalist Marc Andreessen wrote in The New York Times that its invention was on a par with that of the personal computer, or the internet.