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Bitbills, a physical representation of the virtual currency Bitcoin, in Amherst, Mass., June 30, 2011. A rise in value of the digital currency that began in January 2013 has experts questioning whether the rise is real value or evidence of a bubble.
Bitbills, a physical representation of the virtual currency Bitcoin, in Amherst, Mass., June 30, 2011. A rise in value of the digital currency that began in January 2013 has experts questioning whether the rise is real value or evidence of a bubble.
(Nancy Palmieri/NYT)

SCOTT BARLOW

Why Bitcoin matters

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The Bitcoin rally featured a number of professional investors outbidding each other for Monopoly money, and the end result was entirely predictable. No matter how many investing books are written, it seems, a portion of the investing populace is fated to repeat the 18th-century Tulip mania.