The rollercoaster world of Bitcoin has seen the cryptocurrency soar to a record high – and immediately plunge by a huge 15%.
Bitcoin topped out at $11,155 on Wednesday, and the following day dropped to $9,564.
The price recovered over the couple of days to trade at $10,575 – a massive increase considering the cryptocurrency started the year at $764.
Analysts have put the rising price down to several reasons, including companies developing an eye for Blockchain technology to run online payment systems.
But central banks and financial regulators warn Bitcoin is a frontier currency beloved of hackers and fraudsters out to make an easy buck.
So, if you want to buy into Bitcoin, where do you go for the best deal?
How to buy Bitcoin
The first step is signing up online for a Bitcoin wallet. This is like a bank account and is the place where you stash your Bitcoin.
Blockchain is the most popular Bitcoin wallet, with 15 million users.
Before moving any Bitcoin into your wallet, zip it to secure the funds away from hackers.
Blockchain’s security centre is packed with advice on how to do this – and suggests an offline wallet if you intend to store a large amount of cryptocurrency.
Now you are ready to buy some Bitcoin.
The best place to look is a broker or exchange that swap Sterling, US dollars and other currencies for Bitcoin.
Most exchanges deal in more than one cryptocurrency, so you can consider holding some money as the other top cryptocurrencies – Ethereum and Ripple.
Where to get Bitcoin advice
Buying Bitcoin does not mean laying out $10,000 or more – buyers can hold decimal amounts from 0.1 of a Bitcoin upwards.
To get the best price, try cryptocurrency comparison site BittyBot, which collates data on brokers, minimum and maximum holdings and reviews of their services.
At this stage, brokers and exchanges will want your Bitcoin address – this isn’t your wallet but an identifier from the request tab within the Blockchain wallet.
The latest cryptocurrency prices are online at Coindesk – here you can see historic prices as well as the up-to-the-minute value.
If you want to spend rather than exchange your Bitcoin for cash, the website WhereToSpendBitcoins has the latest lists of traders that will accept cryptocurrencies.