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Bitcoin woes give challenger Ethereum an opening

New York

A NEW virtual gold rush is underway.

Even as Bitcoin, riven by internal divisions, has struggled, a rival virtual currency - known as Ethereum - has soared in value, climbing 1,000 per cent over the past three months.

Beyond the price spike, Ethereum is also attracting attention from giants in finance and technology, such as JPMorgan Chase, Microsoft and IBM, which have described it as a sort of Bitcoin 2.0.

The rise of the relatively new virtual currency has been helped by a battle within the Bitcoin community over how the basic Bitcoin software should develop.

The fights have slowed down Bitcoin transactions and led some people to look for alternative virtual currencies to power their businesses....

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