Bitcoin: What is it?

Business

The price of digital currency Bitcoin has surged in 2017. Here's the latest on the investing craze, and a brief history.

Dec. 22, 2017: After surging over $19,000 in mid-December, the digital currency pulled back below $11,000 briefly, and then rebounded past $15,000. (Dana Lipnickas/CNNMoney)

Dec. 6, 2017: Bitcoin has now raced past $12,000 after late 2017 volatile trading.

Bitcoin was created in 2009 by an unknown person using the name Satoshi Nakamoto, CNN explains.

According to bitcoinmining.com, bitcoins are "mined" using special software to solve math problems and then issued a certain number of bitcoins in exchange.

Bitcoin allows users to make purchases and exchange money without banks, credit cards or other third parties, The Associated Press reports.

The digital currency isn't tied to a bank or government and users can spend it anonymously, the AP said in a report.

The D Casino in Las Vegas was the first casino in Sin City to accept Bitcoin in 2014, Vegasnews.com reported.

Inside the D Casino in Las Vegas is a bitcoin ATM.

Bitcoin started 2017 worth less than $1,000. At the end of Nov. 2017, it stormed past $11,000.

CNN reports "mom-and-pop" investors have been buying in. Investors should be able to start trading bitcoin futures via the Chicago Mercantile Exchange in Dec. 2017.

Some industry experts predict bitcoin could hit $50,000 in 2018. Others warn of a "real bubble," CNN Money reports.