October 31, 2008 marked the birth of bitcoin. Ten years on, the world’s first cryptocurrency is at the forefront of a complex financial system viewed warily by markets and investors.
From its first evocation amid a global financial crisis, in a white paper written by Satoshi Nakamoto, an unknown pseudonym, bitcoin conveyed a political vision.
The “abstract” set out in the paper for bitcoin, currently worth about $6,400 per unit from a starting point of virtually zero, was for “a purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash (that) would allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution.”
A decade on, this continues to be carried out via a decentralised registry system known as a blockchain. Read more
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