In the past few months, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have dominated headlines and astounded skeptics across the globe. Bitcoin’s dramatic rise during the past year shocked and captivated technology enthusiasts, investors, and regulators alike. Yet while the hype of bitcoin mania now shows signs of fading with its recent fall in price, the technology underpinning Bitcoin—blockchain—is likely here to stay. But what is Bitcoin, and why is blockchain technology so important?

Bitcoin has captured widespread attention as a currency and payments technology. But Bitcoin is just the first and most widely-known example of a new technological paradigm called distributed ledger technology, also known as “blockchain.”

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Author: Frank Fazzio, Analyst at Zasio Enteprises, Inc.