If you’re curious about the original decentralized cryptocurrency, here’s what you need to know about Bitcoin, including why the price of a bitcoin keeps climbing. By

Brandon Vigliarolo

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January 22, 2018, 9:34 AM PST Unless you’re living under an internet blackout, you’ve probably heard of Bitcoin—it’s a digital currency that doesn’t need a central bank, functions internationally, and keeps gaining value.

Everyone wants a piece, but not everyone understands what it is. Bitcoins are valuable, at least right now.

There are a lot of guesses as to what’s driving bitcoin prices sky-high, and whether those prices will last before crashing back down again. SEE: All of TechRepublic’s cheat sheets and smart person’s guides Bitcoin (BTC) is the original decentralized cryptocurrency, a digital form of currency that uses blockchain and cryptography to validate itself.

Prior to Bitcoin’s inception other forms of digital currency, and even cryptocurrency, existed, but Bitcoin was the first to decentralize the proof-of-work required to validate the coin’s legitimacy. Centralized cryptocurrency is controlled by a single source, which means that source has complete control over its legitimacy, value, and other properties.

Decentralization, by contrast, gives bitcoin value independent of a controlling agency like a government or a corporation. Bitcoin uses blockchain technology to independently verify the legitimacy of a bitcoin. Read more from techrepublic.com…

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