NEW forms of cryptocurrency have emerged following the success of Bitcoin.
But what are they and are they reliable forms of investment?
What is Monero?
Monero is part of a system that allows for direct digital exchange between two parties.
It is similar to bitcoin in this sense, but one huge difference is that it allows for completely private transactions.
It uses a CyptoNight algorithm, which uses tricks to switch up each transactions value, origin and destination to keep things private.
The supply of the currency is said to be infinite with the amount available to create decreasing until 2022.
At this point the creation per hour will be at a minimum rate of 18 Monero.
It emerged last week that there have been claims of North Korea being interested in Monero.
Evidence was allegedly found of malware that took over a computer, mined it for Monero and sent it back to Kim Il Sung University in Pyongyang.
How much is the cryptocurrency worth?
In mid January Monero fluctuated between $350 and $495 a coin, but it has taken a dip – on January 17 its value is $286.74 (£207.83).
It’s value has shot up over recent months – at the start of January 2017 it was only worth around $10 a coin.
How to buy Monero?
It appears that there are many sites online which offer to help people buy Monero.
But anyone thinking of investing in Monero or another cryptocurrency should be very careful.
Their values are volatile, with the ability to plummet as quickly as they shoot up.
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And investors are frequently targeted by hackers and other criminals who seek to steal their crypto-cash online.
Be especially careful if you are using direct, peer-to-peer platforms to sell and buy cryptocurrencies.
These are the equivalent of something like Gumtree for Bitcoin – you never know who you might be dealing with.