Written by Dom Difurio for Stacker
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Since the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto (the anonymous inventor’s presumed pseudonym) created the first bitcoin in 2009, the digital currency has soared to astronomical values, making—and breaking—fortunes for those who have bet on it.
As cryptocurrency gained attention in the wake of a sweeping global recession, it ultimately was embraced by traditional Wall Street investment firms.
The technology was initially presented as a way to revolutionize trade and replace established currencies for daily spending. It would offer a decentralized financial system independent of governments or banks.
The technology underlying Bitcoin, known as blockchain, has evolved with time; there are now thousands of different cryptocurrencies and other blockchain-based technologies, like non-fungible tokens, commonly called NFTs. Collectively, they fall under an umbrella of assets generally referred to as Web3—a concept for a new type of internet that allows exclusive ownership of digital assets and handles automatic or manual sales or trades of those assets.