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Bitcoin

Research aims for Bitcoin science to catch up with growth in usage

Research aims for Bitcoin science to catch up with growth in usage

Six years after their first use, there are nearly 14.5 million bitcoins in circulation — a fortune worth more than $3 billion. But unlike minted money, the online currency is not backed by the faith and credit of any nation, nor does any central authority police its use. Instead, it depends on its thousands of users to review its exchange, and to give bitcoins any value at all. While bitcoin advocates say the cryptocurrency is here to stay, its relative youth and rapidly evolving marketplace mean there are many questions about its future, including how safe it really is from hacking and other manipulation. Scientists also are eyeing how "smart" contracts written in computer...

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