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Page last updated at 07:48 GMT, Friday, 5 August 2011 08:48 UK

Bitcoin: Can a virtual currency do away with banks?

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Bitcoin is an electronic currency that can be traded directly on the internet, members don't even need to have a bank account.

Its value is fluctuating significantly, but creators claim it will do to the banking system what emails did to the postal service.

But the virtual currency has made headlines after a security breach in June allowed one hacker to transfer the equivalent of $500,000 (£300,000) to his own account.

However, these recent events have not deterred members of the Bitcoin community.

Cyber-activist, entrepreneur and founder of the Swedish Pirate Party Rick Falkvinge - who has put all his savings into the currency - explains why.

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