The rise of digital cryptocurrency Bitcoin has been spectacular. Defying dire warnings from governments, regulators and central banks the price has accelerated in recent weeks as an ever-growing base of buyers have piled in.
The resulting volatility has been extreme: the price frequently moves by more than 10pc within hours – sometimes less. It is not the only cryptocurrency, but is by far the best known.
Investors from all walks of life have caught the bug. The Winklevoss twins Tyler and Cameron, made famous after successfully suing Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, are thought to be the first Bitcoin billionaires after buying $11m worth in 2013 – now worth more than $1.6bn.