Bitcoin lands world's largest social investment network

Bitcoin continues to move from strength to strength, as the world's largest social investment network, eToro, announced that its members will now be able to invest in the virtual currency.

eToro's 3m traders can now make Bitcoin investments via contracts for difference (CFDs).

The company will encourage members to consider the cryptocurrency a long term investment, while executing orders four times a day.

Founder and CEO of eToro Yoni Assia, said:

Both eToro and Bitcoin were born out of the social revolution.

It’s therefore very apt for us to take the lead in making Bitcoin – essentially the world’s first crowdsourced currency – available to the masses. Through our social network, individuals can easily and conveniently invest in Bitcoin and take advantage of a new type of investment either with their own strategies or by harnessing the wisdom of our members.

However, the company's decision to list Bitcoin as a stock rather than a currency highlights the lingering scepticism towards Bitcoin's suitability as a medium of exchange.

The move comes as the company celebrates Its users having made more than 100m investments in foreign currency, shares, indices and commodities. The minimum investment within the eToro network is just $10.

The news follows the decision of online retailer Overstock.com to take the plunge and accept the cryptocurrency. Overstock took the decision several months earlier than had been planned.

The libertarian chief executive of Overstock.com, Patrick Byrne, said in a press release:

This is historic. Digital currency will be an important part of the future and Overstock is excited to be the first major online shopping retailer to accept it.

As one who believes in limited government, this attracts me because it is a form of money that no government mandarin can will it into existence.

While the use of the Bitcoin can lower Overstock's transaction costs, Byrne emphasised the benefits of the decentralised nature of Bitcoin. Speaking to Wired magazine he said "It helps us fight the machine.”