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Bitcoin Surges (Then Drops)

The price of bitcoin, the world's largest cryptocurrency by market value, reached an all-time high of $69,210 yesterday before retreating. The digital asset has risen nearly 200% year-over-year after sinking as low as $13K in November 2022 amid the collapse of the cryptocurrency exchange FTX. Observers attribute the surge to new investor-friendly exchange-traded funds of the coin as well as to a much-anticipated halving event next month that will lead to an expected drop in the bitcoin supply.

Bitcoin is a decentralized digital currency built on secure blockchain technology and has a market value of roughly $1.35T. Bitcoin "miners," who use energy-intensive computer rigs to identify the next coded block in the chain, receive rewards via new bitcoin—currently 6.25 BTC (how mining works). The amount of this reward has halved every four years, in accordance with the protocol initiated by pseudonymous founder Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008. Read Nakamoto's white paper here.  

Roughly 94% of all bitcoins—out of 21 million—have been produced so far. Analysts predict the coin will be fully mined by 2140.

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