Sizing up Bitcoin is a tall order. Even as the price of one bitcoin soared above $10,000, a debate raged over what, exactly, Bitcoin is: A digital store of value, a revolutionary payment platform, or the promise of a completely new, blockchain-based financial system. The truth is that Bitcoin is all of those things, but whether it'll succeed as all three — or any of them — remains to be seen.
Bitcoin's price increased tenfold in 2017 and moved into the media mainstream. But for all the headlines and Bitcoin billionaires, the underlying technology mostly stood still. A significant (and highly controversial) upgrade of its software fell through. And the earlier, minor upgrade still isn't widely used yet.
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