The price of bitcoin surged to a record high today with one unit of the volatile cryptocurrency worth more than $5,800 (£4,350). The record comes as football manager Harry Redknapp gave his backing to an otherwise unknown British digital currency.
The new high on Friday morning means the price of bitcoin has increased more than fivefold since the start of the year, when the digital currency was worth around $1,000.
The currency has rebounded in trading on online exchanges in the past month, almost doubling after it fell below $3,000 on September 15.
Bitcoin and crytocurrencies have come under increased regulatory scrutiny in the past month, with China banning initial coin offerings, online sales where businesses sell unregulated digital currency to raise funds, generating highly inflated valuations.
But bitcoin has rebounded from the ban with its latest $5,800 peak. The digital currency has created many millionaires, but sceptics have called cryptocurrency a bubble, with JP Morgan boss Jamie Dimon labelling the trading "stupid" and "a fraud".
The technology behind bitcoin has sparked interest from banks and financial institutions. Bitcoin is built on a blockchain, a decentralised record of all transactions that is used to verify payments.
The money is free from government or banking control, making for easier payments over the internet and bypassing fees and exchange rates. But it is also almost impossible to trace, making it a perfect tool for dark web transactions.
Bitcoin fell a little after hitting the peak to trade at around $5,650.
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The hype around bitcoins and cryptocurrency has led to a host of celebrity endorsements for sales from the likes of Paris Hilton, boxer Floyd Mayweather and DJ Khaled, who have used their social media profiles to promote the risky sale of digital tokens.
The latest endorsement comes from football manager Harry Redknapp, who has tweeted out his backing for digital coin Electroneum, one of the first British digital currencies which claims to be "for the average guy".
Redknapp tweeted: "Proper excited about Mobile Cryptocurrency! I'm in, get involved!" Redknapp has previously claimed he doesn't know what an email is and doesn't know how to send a text message.
Harry has bought some Electroneum and isn't being paid for this - he's just excited as are the other 70,000 @electroneum buyers so far. ��— electroneum (@electroneum) October 12, 2017
Maidstone-based Electroneum says it will provide an app for digital currency storage and mining new coins, and a platform for users to trade currency from mobile games. Its website claims to have already raised £12m in its token sale.
Electroneum claims to be a simpler cryptocurrency limited to "two decimal place" system. Electroneum said Redknapp was not paid to endorse the currency.