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Bitcoin

Bitcoin, released to the world in 2009 by a person or people called Satoshi Nakamoto, is not backed by a central bank or a government and is seen as an alternative payment system. In February 2013, Bitcoin went into the mainstream as a monetary crisis threatened to bankrupt Cyprus, seen as a safer bet. Early adopters of Bitcoin have been richly rewarded as the price has soared – in one case, a young Norwegian bought a house from an $850,000 windfall on a US$22 investment.

Did bitcoin just burst? How the cryptocurrency slump compares to history’s biggest fads

How bitcoin compares to history’s biggest bubbles

Bitcoin’s recent wobbles have given fresh urgency to a question that is gripped market observers for much of the past year: Will the cryptocurrency go down as one of history’s most infamous bubbles, alongside tulipmania and the dot-com craze?