Digital gold: What is Bitcoin and why is it going mainstream?

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If you were to jump in a time machine and travel back 10 years, you would be hard pressed to find a better investment than the much-questioned and often misunderstood cryptocurrency Bitcoin.The past 12 months has brought further attention to the somewhat abstract asset, as stimulus-flush investors pushed up the price of one Bitcoin almost 200 per cent to more than $51,000 and a raft of major US asset managers began to publicise their significant crypto holdings.With Australians young and old increasingly looking to cryptocurrencies as a serious investment option, here is a brief summary of the what you need to know before taking the plunge.Bitcoin is a virtual currency, most commonly known as a cryptocurrency. As such, despite the name, Bitcoins are not physical, existing instead on a huge publicly accessible digital ledger known as the blockchain. Every transaction made with Bitcoin is viewable and track-able on this database.Unlike…

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