A Bitcoin (virtual currency) paper wallet with QR codes and a coin are seen in an illustration picture taken at La Maison du Bitcoin in Paris, France, May 27, 2015.  REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/File Photo
An illustration photo shows a Bitcoin (virtual
currency) paper wallet with QR codes and a coin are seen at La
Maison du Bitcoin in Paris

Thomson
Reuters


LONDON (Reuters) – Digital currency bitcoin kicked off the new
year by jumping above $1,000 (£813) for the first time in three
years late on Sunday, having outperformed all central-bank-issued
currencies with a 125 percent climb in 2016.

Bitcoin – a web-based “cryptocurrency” that has no central
authority, relying instead on thousands of computers across the
world that validate transactions and add new bitcoins to the
system – jumped 2.5 percent to $1,022 on the Europe-based
Bitstamp exchange, its highest since December 2013.

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