42 Coin
42 Coin is the cryptocurrency priced at more than £100,000. 42 Coin

If you thought bitcoin was expensive at £500 per virtual coin, you should probably brace yourself - because a new cryptocurrency called 42 Coin is valued at more than $185,000 (£115,000) per coin.

As the name suggests, just 42 of the coins will ever be mined - compared to 21 million bitcoins in total, of which 12.3 million are now in circulation - and so far just 1.21 coins exist, with users each owning a tiny fraction of it.

But any hopes of a cryptocurrency hugely more valuable than bitcoin being more stable were dashed almost immediately, as 42 Coin's value tumbled from over $800,000 at its launch on 14 January, to $185,500 at the time of publication.

The currency's creator, who uses the name Hendo, claims 42 Coin is unique because it is unlikely that one person will ever own a whole one - but more than that, the currency is engineered to be faster than bitcoin. Where bitcoin transactions can take several minutes, 42 Coin takes - perhaps unsurprisingly - 42 seconds.

A currency for purchasing gold and silver

Speaking to IBTimes UK, the developers behind 42 Coin claim the currency could be "exchanged for valuable goods and services...[it] could be used towards gold or silver - this is actually in the works as we speak."

The developers claim their cryptocurrency could also "be traded for collectors' items, hidden gems, and real-life assets like cars and houses."

Denoting the meaning of life, according to The Hitchhiker's Guide to The Galaxy, the number 42 in this case relates to the number used by 1950s American baseball player Jackie Robinson.

In 1997, Major League Baseball universally retired the use of his number 42 shirt number across all major league teams - a first in the history of the sport - driving the price of Robinson memorabilia through the roof.

A fairer way to mine

But rather than creating headlines about its huge value and extreme scarcity, 42 Coin's creator explains the beauty of his currency is the way it reacts to how it is being mined.

When powerful mining groups - known as pools - attempt to mine 42 Coin with dedicated hardware, the process becomes more difficult; when they leave it gets easier, allowing miners using their own regular computer to extract the currency, as used to be possible with bitcoin.

"I'm trying to keep everything clean," Hendo told Business Insider. "And I'd like this to be the precedent for all future coin launches. I see a lot of people getting cheated. It's wrong."