January 13 2014
Move over U.S. Dollar, there's a new currency in town.
It's Bitcoin and it's here in Milwaukee.
Bitcoin is a universal, electronic currency regulated entirely by its users. With the help of the non-profit BitcoinMKE, several local businesses, including Sales Automation Support and Bad Genie Rock Lounge now accept the digital currency as a form of payment.
BitcoinMKE founder Will Pangman said Bitcoin can benefit merchants, organizations and individuals.
Pangman said it can also propagate larger social change.
For example, when individuals want to send money to their families in other countries, the transaction process is typically lengthy and expensive. Bitcoin however, can be exchanged as quickly as email with little or no extra cost.
The value of Bitcoin is volatile. Today, one Bitcoin is worth about $820, but was trading around $1,200 at the end 2013.
"The minimum growth in any given year since it first emerged in 2009, has been 400 percent," Pangman said.
For those who want to invest, but don't want to dish out $800, fractions of a Bitcoin can be purchased as well.
"I really encourage everyone to get $5 or $10 worth and just see what it is, see how it works and watch it grow," Pangman said.
For those looking for more information BitcoinMKE meets every Thursday at 6 p.m. on the second floor of Bad Genie Rock Lounge.