With the recent rise in chatter about Bitcoin, many will be left wondering what’s so special about the digital monetary unit – and perhaps how to get in on the action now that it’s hovering around $1000 in value. Thankfully, there’s help at hand.

Mt Gox, one of the exchanges for Bitcoin, has set up Bitcoin.com to help explain how the system works. The video does a good job of breaking it down in less than two minutes, and if you feel comfortable with the basics there’s an option on the same page to sign up for a bitcoin wallet. It’s free, so don’t worry about any shenanigans being involved.

For further reading, the site also has links on how to buy and sell Bitcoins, invest them, supporting the foundation, and more info on how it all works.

The timing of the site’s launch couldn’t come at a better time. Bitcoin’s been in the news regularly in the last two weeks, with the most prominent developments being its trading value as well as the fact that governments and corporations have started talking about taking it seriously. Little might be known about the founder of Bitcoin, but economic experts know that it’s something that cannot be ignored.

Aside from the views experts have, websites and retailers have long since embraced the online currency. Overseas the BitcoinBlackFriday website is selling goods at discount for those paying in Bitcoins, and at least one local company will sell you goods if you want to pay with Bitcoins. There are lots of things you can buy, and it’s only a matter of time that those you can’t will also be offered.

Eleven years ago Christo started writing about technology for one of South Africa's (then) leading computer magazines. His first review? A Samsung LCD monitor. Hey, it was hot news, back then. Nowadays he gets more excited about photography, cars, game consoles, and faster internet connections. He's sort of an Apple fan, but will take any opportunity to remind you about his Windows-powered home theatre PC and desire to own a vanilla Android tablet.   Currently uses: Apple 13-inch Macbook Pro with Retina Display, Apple iPhone 5, Microsoft Laser Mouse 6000, Audiofly AF78 Earphones, Xbox 360, Nikon D50.