BitCoin, a decentralized digital currency you can send through the Internet or trade for analogue money, is now worth $33. The surge, reportedly, coincides with Japan-based MT GOX, "Bitcoin's biggest exchange, announcing a tie-up with US firm CoinLab to bring its operations to the States."
Unlike other currencies, Bitcoins are not issued by a central bank or other centralised authority. Instead they are created in a process called "mining", in which coins are issued to a user when they solve a complicated mathematical problem using their computer.
Part of the attraction is they can be used to make transactions that are difficult to trace, offering privacy to their users, and the currency has been adopted by Wikileaks and other sites to receive donations.
Bitcoins can also be exchanged for "real" money - the value of which is tracked by services like Mt Gox.
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