Bitcoin breaches $200 as Trojan virus hacks Skype

The virtual currency, which exploded into the public eye last month, has topped a value of $200 per bitcoin for the first time, but the abuse has begun...

by Michael Northcott
Last Updated: 19 Nov 2013

Bitcoin circumvents the world’s banks and governments because it is de-centralised, not regulated and people making payments with it can’t be tracked – handy if you don't want the authorities keeping tabs on your expenditure. 

This week, the price topped $200 per coin, a bubble thought to be at least partly because of the banking crisis in Cyprus: people who have lost confidence in the island's financial system are looking for other places to put their money.

But that’s not the only dramatic thing that’s happening with the new currency. On Tuesday it was revealed that a Trojan virus is spreading via Skype calling software that can force computers into mining for bitcoins for criminals.

The mining process makes computer solve mathematical problems, which then 'mints' bitcoins – that’s how they are made. But the illegal bit is that this virus forces thousands of computers across the web to work on solving these problems on behalf of one bitcoin account holder, who then pockets the cash.

Bitcoins are popular with uber-geeks as well as shady types, but to be honest, this reporter would recommend keeping your money well away from this system – it is obviously open to abuse and too few people understand it…

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