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What are Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies?

The same way that email is a protocol for sending messages to any computer using the internet, Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are protocols for sending money to any computer or mobile device using the Internet. The Bitcoin protocol has a built-in currency, also called Bitcoin, that is used to pay volunteers who use their computing power to help secure Bitcoin transactions. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are an important innovation in the history of money that enables users to send money anywhere in the world where there’s access to the Internet.

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