Bitcoin beyond the basics: How the $250 billion network really works

Enlarge (credit: The Matrix / Aurich)

The soaring price of bitcoin—the virtual currency is now worth more than $250 billion—has gotten a lot of attention in recent weeks. But the real significance of bitcoin isn't just its rising value. It's the technological breakthrough that allowed the network to exist in the first place.

Bitcoin's still anonymous inventor, who went by the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, figured out a completely new way for a decentralized network to reach a consensus...

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