Five questions about: The Bitcoin bubble
This is the virtual currency, isn't it. Can I make a mint from it?
Who knows. There's a growing school of thought that Bitcoin is just the latest Gold, Rush, Tulip Fever or South Sea Bubble.
Didn't a lot of people lose fortunes in those events?
They sure did. However a few people – chiefly those who got in right at the beginning – made a fortune.
Are you suggesting that Bitcoin will go the same way?
No. But here are some facts. Bitcoin was launched in 2008 by an anonymous group of software developers. They are created by an online process known as 'mining'. Those who choose to 'mine' the currency do so by solving cryptographic puzzles in order to get new Bitcoins and build up their collection. The number of Bitcoins that can be found is apparently designed to tail off so the total issued will be limited to 21m. So far some 12m are believed to have been issued.
That all sounds perfectly reasonable. Where do I get some?
You can buy and sell them through various online platforms. The price fluctuates according to demand and sentiment and was lower than $200 (£122) as recently as July. But Bitcoin rocketed in recent months to end up more than $1,200, even higher than the price of gold.
That sounds like just the beginning of a major boom, doesn't it?
That's extremely unlikely. On Thursday the virtual currency encountered a major problem when powerful Chinese regulators banned financial institutions from using it. That sent the currency into tailspin and it plummeted more than 20 per cent in a day. It slumped from $1,240 to $870 on the Bitcoin trading exchange MtGox. Meanwhile former US Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan has described Bitcoin as a "bubble" with no "intrinsic value". It's something to be wary of, at least for now.
Independent Partners; request a free guide on NISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown
Do you qualify – and how do you get it?
The Mayor of London's sister, Rachel Johnson, apologises for shocking tweet about the PM
Actress isn't a fan of Ed Miliband
Video: The official full-length trailer for the Jurassic Park sequel has dropped – two days early
How to get fit in minutes
Money Round-up: Bank fraudsters; free wine; free home improvements; and rip-off extended warranties
How to cut the cost of car insurance: A five-step guide to getting a better deal
Simon Read: There may be trouble ahead for cohabiting couples who don’t make a will
10 tips for taking out a personal loan
- 1 Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
- 2 To help fuel their propaganda machine against the poor, our government has now decided to redefine the word 'welfare'
- 3 Black Friday 2014: Opening hours for John Lewis, Asda, PC World, GAME and Argos
- 4 Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
- 5 Girl, 7, gets Tesco to remove 'stupid' sign suggesting superheroes are 'for boys'
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Revealed: How the world gets rich – from privatising British public services
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
iJobs Money & Business
£25000 per annum + £50,000 OTE: h2 Recruit Ltd: London, Reading , Southend, Al...
£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: As a Call Centre Agent you will...
£Attractive: Citifocus Ltd: High calibre individual with significant product d...
£Negotiable: Citifocus Ltd: Leading global bank seeks experienced credit analy...
Day In a Page
A deceptively spacious, beautifully presented Georgian home with 3000sq ft of living space and five reception rooms
A five-bedroom Victorian home with four receptions, superb gardens and paddock in Pembury
An eight-bedroom house on the south side of the The Green with cinema, wine cellars and summer house
This 17th century beauty is full of rustic cosiness, while the detached home office means you can also run a business
This five-bedroom red-brick beauty overlooks the village green and sits in just under two acres of land
Four exclusive apartments in a Grade II-listed former medical school with 2,275 sq ft of living space and 18ft ceilings
A five-bedroom terraced house on the popular Peterborough Estate, ideally located for both Eel Brook Common and South Park
A state-of-the-art farm-building conversion on the former Cliveden Estate, with 11,420sq ft of internal space, cinema and wine cellar
A three-bedroom, 15th-century cottage with original features in the picturesque village of Sissinghurst
A six-bedroom terraced house with large south-facing roof terrace, cinema room and wine cellar
A new seven-bedroom home built in Queen Anne-style with swimming pool and parkland views in Mortimer
A listed, four-bedroom farmhouse in the rural hamlet of Rushall with detached barn, four acres of gardens and paddocks
A first-floor flat with two bedrooms, a spacious reception room and communal grounds in a leafy part of London
A three-bedroom flat with a spacious rootop terrace and balcony, accessed from a private gated courtyard
A Grade II-listed pile with six bedrooms, stables and 39 acres of grounds in Standlake
A two-bedroom flat with boutique hotel-style interiors, close to the foodie haunt of West End Lane
A two-bedroom flat in a beautiful old vicarage, with many original features, close to the city centre
A three-bedroom 16th-century home with an aga kitchen, private gardens and heated outdoor pool, in Hadleigh
A three-bedrom home in sought-after Queen's Gate Mews, with Italian marble-finished bathrooms
Surrounded by glorious countryside in the village of Udimore, sits this impressive four-kiln oast and barn conversion
A five-bedroom house in the picturesque village of Kettlewell, north Yorkshire
An 18th-century former coaching inn with original staircase, open fireplaces and beams throughout
A Grade II-listed Georgian town house with three bedrooms and a south-facing courtyard, near Arundel Castle
Feel on top of the world at this über chic penthouse on the 37th floor of one of Europe’s tallest blocks.
A Grade II-listed Victorian villa with six bedrooms and two further cottages, all with spectacular sea views
A grade II-listed, Georgian cottage with mature 50ft garden, perfect for summer entertaining
A magnificent Georgian pile with turrets, seven bedrooms, a heated pool and four acres of gardens
Fairoak Farm has five bedroom suites, gym, outdoor swimming pool and golf course
Chic two-bedroom river-fronted flat with a private lift that delivers you directly to your home
A spectacular seven-bedroom Tudor pile, once owned by Henry VIII, with 18 acres of land
A seven-bedroom Georgian property previously used as a picturesque wedding venue
A split-level flat in a church conversion with two en suite bedrooms and 1,200sq ft of living space
A three-bedroom bungalow situated behind an impressive stone wall, £645,000
Windsor Castle overlooks this three-bedroom Victorian cottage located on one of Windsor's smartest roads
Chapel House is a former vicarage with nine bedrooms in the beautiful Upper Wye Valley
A five-bedroom B&B and separate owner's accomodation with potential for conversion
Enjoy summer by the Thames in this two double-bedroom converted warehouse in Rotherhithe village
A one-bedroom, luxury apartment with private gym and concierge service in Moorgate
A four-bedroom house in Hermitage Gardens with three reception rooms and landscaped gardens