Bitcoin, released to the world in 2009 by a person or people called Satoshi Nakamoto, is not backed by a central bank or a government and is seen as an alternative payment system. In February 2013, Bitcoin went into the mainstream as a monetary crisis threatened to bankrupt Cyprus, seen as a safer bet. Early adopters of Bitcoin have been richly rewarded as the price has soared – in one case, a young Norwegian bought a house from an $850,000 windfall on a US$22 investment.

Coin wars: The argument that is threatening to split bitcoin in two

The bitcoin wars have begun, as Bitcoin XT squares off against the classic flavour of the cryptocurrency. Photo: Reuters

Cryptocurrency bitcoin is facing civil war, with two high-profile developers announcing plans to split the code that underpins the network.

Tuesday, 18 August, 2015, 2:24pm

MtGox Bitcoin CEO faces new charges for embezzling $8.9 million in customer funds

Mark Karpeles, chief executive officer of the failed MtGox Bitcoin exchange, who was arrested over the loss of a massive amount of virtual online currency.  Photo: Kyodo

Mark Karpeles, the head of the collapsed MtGox Bitcoin exchange who was arrested in Tokyo, is facing fresh allegations that he misused $8.9 million in customers’ deposits, Japanese media reported.

2 Aug 2015 - 9:38pm

Tokyo police arrest French CEO of bitcoin exchange MtGox over billions in missing virtual currency

Mark Karpeles is chief executive of the failed MtGox. Photo: EPA

Japanese police yesterday arrested Mark Karpeles, head of the MtGox bitcoin exchange, after a series of fraud allegations led to its spectacular collapse and hammered the reputation of the digital currency.

France-born Karpeles, 30, was suspected of manipulating data on the exchange's computer system in 2013 to falsely create about US$1 million, a spokesman for the Tokyo police said.

2 Aug 2015 - 2:46am 1 comment

App creator urges Hong Kong's coffee lovers to wake up to bitcoin

Starbucks is the first major global retailer where bitcoin can be used in-store. Photo: Reuters

The value of bitcoin may have slumped, but one US start-up is betting on the digital currency after developing an app for Hong Kong's coffee drinkers that will allow them to pay at Starbucks with it.

14 May 2015 - 1:22pm

Hong Kong cryptocurrency operators warn against fake websites

The alleged fraud involving MyCoin, a bitcoin-trading platform in Hong Kong, in February has raised concern about cryptocurrency scams. Photo: Reuters

Hong Kong’s cryptocurrency operators have banded together to warn investors about fake websites and other scams.

2 Apr 2015 - 6:05pm

Britain to regulate bitcoin with money-laundering rules

Britain to regulate bitcoin with money-laundering rules

Britain has taken a significant step towards becoming a global bitcoin hub as the government announced it would regulate digital currencies for the first time by applying anti-money laundering rules to exchanges.

20 Mar 2015 - 3:45am

Beijing has a bitcoin problem on its hands

Goldman Sachs says the yuan now accounts for 80 per cent of Bitcoin transactions. Photo: Reuters

As if Zhou Xiaochuan didn’t have enough to worry about, the central bank governor now has a bitcoin problem on his hands.

28 Apr 2015 - 11:15am

Bitcoin deal that cost investors HK$3 billion a cautionary tale

Bitcoin deal that cost investors HK$3 billion a cautionary tale

Bitcoin came into favour after the global financial crisis. Some people believe that it will eventually be the virtual currency to challenge traditional ones just as the internet has revolutionised our lives and businesses.

13 Feb 2015 - 7:13am 1 comment

Investors fear HK$3b losses in closure of bitcoin trading company

Mrs Chan, one of 30 clients who will go to police. Photo: David Wong

The sudden closure of a Hong Kong-based bitcoin trading company may have left as many as 3,000 local investors with combined losses of HK$3 billion.

9 Feb 2015 - 11:03am 9 comments

Accused Silk Road operator convicted on US drug charges

Lyn and Kirk Ulbricht, parents of Ross Ulbricht, speak to journalists after his conviction in New York. Photo: Reuters

The mastermind behind the underground website Silk Road was convicted on narcotics and other charges for his role in a scheme that enabled around US$200 million of anonymous online drug sales using bitcoins.

5 Feb 2015 - 7:10pm

Bitcoin transactions cut the cost of international money transfers

Bitcoin transactions cut the cost of international money transfers

Maria Teresa Lasam doesn't know how bitcoin works but is thrilled that she's able to remit money to her family more conveniently and at a fraction of the usual cost through this cryptocurrency.

The domestic helper sent her money through local start-up Bitspark, which has a temporary Sunday office at World Wide House in Central.

16 Jan 2015 - 6:15am

Bitcoin loses momentum as adoption of digital currency stalls

The volatility of bitcoins, which have lost half its value this year, has slowed broader acceptance of the digital money. Photo: Reuters

After skyrocketing to more than US$1,000 late last year and attracting global attention, bitcoin, the leading digital currency, has stalled.

13 Dec 2014 - 6:09am

United States tech firm sued over problems in delivering bitcoin machines

A bitcoin ATM machine is shown at a restaurant in San Diego. Photo: AP

A company that offered bitcoin-generating computers is being sued by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which said the company bilked as much as US$50 million from more than 20,000 consumers.

1 Oct 2014 - 8:37am

Bitcoin breaking into mainstream with companies and consumers

Illustration: Sarene Chan

Earlier this year, Mary Fons joined the bitcoin economy. She uses the digital currency to buy gift cards and office supplies. Her partner reimburses Fons with bitcoins for his portion of the rent.

26 Sep 2014 - 5:22am 1 comment

Pair admit abetting transfer of bitcoins to rogue website Silk Road

Charlie Shrem said he knew that much of the business conducted on Silk Road involved the purchase and sale of narcotics.

The top executive of a bitcoin company and a Florida bitcoin exchanger have pleaded guilty to charges in a US federal court that they enabled the digital currency to be funnelled to the black market website Silk Road.

6 Sep 2014 - 5:09am