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Bitcoin: Mother Of All Bubbles, Or Revolutionary Breakthrough

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Nikki Beesetti paid for a semester's tuition with a single Bitcoin she bought in 2017. Rafa Ayoub/Nikki Beesetti

If you think America’s politics are polarizing, consider Bitcoin. The price of a single Bitcoin today hovers around $50,000. Ten years ago, in its infancy, it was around a buck. The digital currency’s meteoric rise has minted millionaires and energized true believers around the world. That’s only convinced skeptics that Bitcoin is the mother of all bubbles.

In recent weeks, the price of Bitcoin has been driven higher following highly publicized investments from the carmaker Tesla and the life insurer MassMutual. Banks, MasterCard and the auction house Christie’s have all opened their doors to this kind of cryptocurrency, bringing it closer to the financial mainstream.

Before corporate America tiptoed in, there were people like Nikki Beesetti fascinated by Bitcoin’s promise. In 2017, Beesetti was an engineering major at Purdue University, facing typical college pressures, teaching on the side.

“I was getting paid about $10 an hour,” she says. “It was just enough money for me to buy, food, coffee, ramen.”

As an engineering student, she was curious about Bitcoin’s technology, its innovative design. And eventually as an investment. So she did a lot of research and spent $2,000 on a single Bitcoin.

“I sold at the end of the year when it was about $19,000,” she recalls.

The single Bitcoin she bought covered her tuition, books and lab fees. And it a way it changed her life. She’s still buying Bitcoin, still excited by its potential.

“Sometimes when you’re young a new technology can really excite you and can really shape your future and the way you look at the world,” she says. “I think that was the case for me and Bitcoin. It’s definitely made me more optimistic, definitely given me a lot of things to look forward to, especially in a time when things can seem so lonely and dreary.”

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