Bitcoin is said to have been created five years ago by an anonymous computer programmer (or programmers) called Satoshi Nakamoto. This pseudonym is a male Japanese name, but it's never been traced to a real person and no one knows for sure if one or many individuals created the electronic currency substitute, which can be easily traded online to and from anywhere in the world without the interference of banks or currency exchanges. Bitcoin has been touted by enthusiasts as the digital answer to e-commerce and international finance because of its smooth online transferring capabilities.
|Photo by Isokivi via Wikipedia Commons|
But where there's freedom, there are crooks. It can be used for money laundering. The feds shut down the dark-web narcotics site Silk Road, which used bitcoin to enable drug deals. Various governments have struggled with how to regulate bitcoin. This year, the IRS recognized it as an asset, not a currency.
- Bitcoin Gains Foothold in South Florida
Early bitcoin adopters were psyched to have bought bitcoin for pennies and then see its value shoot to $900. That price wavered when a bitcoin exchange called Mt. Gox mysteriously went out of business this February and caused bitcoin's value to drop in half. It now hovers around $450 per "coin." (You can also buy fractions of coins, which are not tangible objects but rather virtual constructs.)
What does any of this mean to a business owner? Broward resident Chris DeRose will give a bitcoin 101 talk on Friday, May 16, at Bimini Boatyard in Fort Lauderdale. More »