A cryptocurrency company has made history after becoming the first digital coin mining firm to be listed on the London Stock Exchange.
Argo Blockchain, which is headquartered in London but runs its service from a data-centre in Canada, has raised £25 million ($48.2m) following its debut, giving it a valuation of £47m, reports the Daily Telegraph.
The company mines digital currencies on behalf of monthly subscribers using a similar model to Spotify or Netflix. This means people with little technical prowess and lacking the right tools to set up a mining rig can still make money from the Bitcoin craze by creating an account on Argo's website or smartphone app.
Bitcoin mining essentially keeps the digital ledger necessary to keep Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency online. Rather than one central organisation, like a bank, taking responsibility for keeping a record of transactions, the ledger is spread among participants in the market. Each transaction must be verified before it is added. It is easy to track wallets holding cryptocurrency, but not the person who owns it.
Individual cryptocurrency miners can use their computers to keep the system running and power the transactions using their own electricity and computer power. This typically yields poor returns unless someone owns a server farm.
The lucrative area has sparked a trend in "cryptojacking", a phenomenon where companies install a programme to hijack the computing power of visitors to a webpage to mine cryptocurrency. The person who has been "cryptojacked" will only notice a small, temporary drop in computer speed.
In February, hackers took over thousands of government websites to install cryptojacking software. The sites, including the Information Commissioner's Office, the Scottish NHS helpline and the Student Loans company - along with hundreds of other central and local government sites - were unknowingly running the power-pinching program.
Argo was developed by Jonathan Bixby and Mike Edwards, who own around 13 per cent of the company. Miton Capital, Henderson Global Investors and Jupiter Asset Management, are named on the shareholder register.
Argo plans to use the cash to drive its expansion and raise its public profile. Upon announcing its plans to go public, Bixby said: "We have launched this service to take the pain and heartache out of participating in the biggest new technology breakthrough since the launch of the internet."
Those interested can sign up for £18 a month and have a choice of four digital currencies: Bitcoin Gold, Ethereum Classic and ZCash, which have a total value of more than US$51 billion ($75.6b) as of August 3.