Bitcoins are an anonymous payment system which is not subject to a central administration (central bank). Thus, its value can not be altered or manipulated by banks. The price for a Bitcoin is solely determined by supply and demand. As a result, the corresponding value in US dollars has temporarily increased by a hundred-fold since its launch in 2009. Bitcoins are encrypted, which is why they can be traded anonymously. This has provoked the lasting effect that they have become a popular method of payment on black markets all around the world. It therefore remains to be seen if Bitcoins can become a serious alternative to an official currency.