Bitcoin Value Passes The $200 Mark

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Virtual currency goes from $20 to $200 in just three months

Bitcoin value has hit a new, astonishing high this week, trading at over $200 on largest virtual currency exchanges.

This means it has more than doubled its value in just two weeks, ahead of most optimistic predictions, possibly making several early investors millionaires along the way.

Bitcoin has arrived

Bitcoin (BTC) is a digital crypto currency based on an open-source, peer-to-peer Internet protocol. First introduced in 2009 by an anonymous developer known under the alias ‘Satoshi Nakamoto’, it was traditionally used among people interested in keeping their transactions secret. However, recently, a number of major online businesses have started to accept BTC as a form of payment, improving its reputation.

BitCoin © ppart Shutterstock 2012At the start of the year, Bitcoin was trading at around $20. The increased media exposure fuelled rapid growth in February and March, and by April, as the price surged past $100, even the staunch critics of the decentralised currency had to acknowledge its impact.

Neither recent DDoS attacks on the Mt.Gox exchange, nor the discovery of a serious flaw in Bitcoin ‘mining’ software did nothing to hinder this surge.

Some analysts warn that the virtual currency has formed a ‘bubble’, and sooner or later the market will correct itself. However, until the day that happens, Bitcoin investors could continue to reap huge rewards.

Some believe the recent rise in the currency’s price was partly down to the Cypriot banking crisis and investors looking for somewhere exciting to place their money. Russians have been hungrily buying up bitcoins, as have many in the US, Finland and Sweden.

SiliconAngle has tracked down several people claiming to be newly-minted Bitcoin millionaires, who bought into the currency while it was still young. “With today’s rise in Bitcoin I’m officially a millionaire. I’m gonna cash out over the next 30 days. I’ll keep 50 percent in gold and silver for long-term and the remaining 50 percent for a house and vanguard. Thank you Bitcoin! You changed my life,” wrote a Reddit user under the account “bitcoinmillo”.

The high value of digital money has also resulted in increased interest from cyber criminals. Last week, Kaspersky uncovered a new malware strain that was used to turn the infected machines into “miner rigs” for unauthorised Bitcoin generation.

In March, TechWeekEurope published an article entitled “BitCoin: The Currency Of The Future?” in which Dan Charbonneau, CEO of IT training company CBT Nuggets predicted the impending “gold rush”.

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