Bitcoin's meteoric rise is reminiscent of how Skype started out, a former executive at the online phone and messaging service has said.
"We're seeing this tremendous interest from the rest of the world which is, for normal people, beginning to get terribly interesting," Michael Jackson, Skype's former chief operating officer, told CNBC during a phone interview Wednesday.
Jackson said increased interest in the virtual currency — which is now worth more than $15,000 a coin — took him "right back to the beginnings of Skype."
"We were messing around doing all sorts with the internet and it kind of worked, and all the tools were nerdy and all the nerds used it, and it was great," the entrepreneur said.
"And then we managed to knock together something that normal people could use, and that was really what created the company. I don't think we've got that in the bitcoin just yet. That's ahead of us, for sure."
Jackson is now a partner at venture capital investment firm Mangrove Capital Partners, an early investor in Skype.
He said that bitcoin's surge is "great" but added that it was difficult to tell what the future holds for the digital currency.