The recent fluctuations in the value of Bitcoin are just the latest in a series of spectacular peaks and troughs since it was created in 2009. (Though its price has been falling recently, it remains five times higher than last April, before the latest major peak began.) Commentators are often dismissive of Bitcoin buyers, writing them off as naive victims of a fraudulent bubble. But if we look more carefully, we can trace the history of Bitcoin through five key narratives. Each has drawn in a different group of buyers and in doing so contributed to its long-term growth in…

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