Bitcoin fever: The virtual money everybody may use someday
Many people are buying up bitcoins in hopes that its value climbs relative to the dollar. The more bitcoins are used, the more legitimate they become, the more they could be worth. Right now, however, general use of the money is in the future — but here and there businesses are beginning to accept bitcoins as payment.
Ryan Hurley, an attorney with Rose Law Group in Scottsdale, Ariz., recently persuaded the firm to accept payments in bitcoins. This policy attracted one client so far who is interested in developing a bitcoins business.
Hurley says he recently was explaining bitcoins to a friend.
"Are you crazy?" the friend told him. "Who will trust it? Who is Bitcoin? Who am I trusting?"
Hurley says that is like asking "Who is email?"
Hurley has invested about $500 into bitcoins, about 4.8 bitcoins.
McIntyre at McDaniel College is in for about $20 or a fifth of a bitcoin.
Brito at Mercatus Center owns 3 bitcoins.
Alan Wolan says he invested about $50,000. His son also invested an undisclosed amount.
"I think that it was good that right after we bought it that it went down," he says. "That is a good lesson for a kid. Not everything goes up. It is impossible to predict the direction of everything."
Wolan says he is not worried about the price right now because he is in for the long haul.
"My bet on Bitcoin is basically a bet on the idea," Wolan says. "I still believe in the idea. Now whether it will work is an empirical question I can't answer."