Bitcoin hits $1 billion

April 1, 2013

Bitcoin, the world’s first open source cryptographic currency, has set a new record for itself as the price listed on the largest online exchange rose past US $92, IEEE Spectrum reports. With nearly 11 million Bitcoins in circulation, this sets the total worth of the currency just over one billion dollars.

Bitcoin is a digital currency that runs on a global peer-to-peer network without the backing of a nation or any other central authority. The recent ascent has traditional economists scratching their heads.

“Bitcoin launched itself by its own bootstraps and we don’t really understand how that worked, as economists,” says Lawrence White, an economist who teaches the history of banking and money at George Mason University.

Much of the new interest in Bitcoin is coming from places like Cyprus whose desperate proposals for economic reform threaten to plunder the savings of its people.