The price of bitcoin has been surging in recent months. It has risen from under $1,000 (£742) to more than $10,000 today, a dramatic ascent that few investments have matched.
Bitcoin is famously volatile – few can predict with any certainty where it will go from here and many believe we’re in the middle of a bubble – but one thing’s certain: if you’d invested five years ago you’d be doing very well for yourself now.
Its surging price has led to an increased interest in the currency – with Google queries for “buy bitcoin” now surpassing “buy gold”.
There are two main ways to get hold of bitcoin – buying an expensive supercomputer (with a whopping electricity bill to match), and using it to “mine” bitcoins, the process of solving the cryptographic codes that keep the entire network running.
This isn’t a realistic scenario for most people, so the alternative is to buy. Buying bitcoins used to…