The virtual currency, which allows users to circumvent the banks, last week burst into the mainstream as the price of a Bitcoin rose to $147 against the dollar, from under $20 at the start of this year.
The currency has since climbed further to on Tuesday pass the $200 mark in trading tracked by website Bitcoin Charts.
The recent price spike is thought to have been sparked by the crisis in Cyprus, as cuts to depositors? savings planned under its bail-out further undermined faith in the global banking system.
Created by a developer using a psuedonym in 2009, Bitcoin was intended to offer a means of payment that cuts out the banks through a ?purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash [that] would allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution?.
The coins are ?mined? by computer processing, with the system capping the number that can be produced at 21m. There are currently around 11m in circulation and the process of mining is technically difficult, meaning it has a cost in terms of equipment and electricity.
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