What is Bitcoin?

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The Kwai Chung mining facility is extremely quiet -- except for the whirr of computers.

Bitcoin was created in 2009 by an unknown person using the alias Satoshi Nakamoto.

The currency can be bought and sold without middle men -- and there's no need to give your real name. More merchants are beginning to accept them: You can buy webhosting services, pizza, manicures and even cars.

Related: What is Bitcoin?

Chinese investors have been enthusiastic early adopters, a trend amplified by a lack of more traditional investment vehicles in the country.

First published December 17, 2013: 4:46 AM ET

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