Investors’ fascination with the digital currency Bitcoin drove its value past $1,000 in 2013, up from $13.50 on Jan. 1.
Bitcoins were launched onto the Internet in 2009 by an anonymous cryptography expert or group named Satoshi Nakamoto. The currency lives on a decentralized network Relevant Products/Services of computers. Bitcoins can be sent among buyers and sellers using digital addresses and safe-keeping wallets secured by passwords, and marketplace sites have emerged to sell them.
The currency can be used to purchase goods and services from a limited few early adopter merchants. It remains to be seen whether Bitcoins will become a new gold-like alternative investment standard or the next tulip-bulb bubble.