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Clark Howard: Bitcoin

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Updated: 4/22/2013 8:57 am
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- "It could be the biggest technology revolution since the internet itself."
Stephen Pair is talking about the virtual money, Bitcoin. Bitcoin is used online just like cash is used at store.

There's no middleman like a credit card or Paypal. In order to use or receive Bitcoin, you need to have special software on your computer or smartphone.

That's where Pair's company Bitpay comes in. "We make it easy for merchants to create a merchant account and start accepting Bitcoin payments on their website."

Bitcoin has been hot with investors lately. It's bought and sold like wall street stocks on Bitcoin exchanges. A few months ago it was selling around $40 dollars a Bitcoin, but has recently traded as high as $200 dollars.  

Bitcoin is unique in that it is completely independent from any country or bank and it can't be mass produced the way a nation can print currency. Only a few Bitcoins are released each day, which hackers have to find.

There are roughly 11 million Bitcoins currently in online circulation around the world. "Bitcoin is the wild west. You have pioneers and you have outlaws." Pair considers his company a Bitcoin pioneer.

Bitpay just moved into a small office in Atlanta, but Pair says they already have over 4 thousand merchants outfitted with their software. He says businesses are interested in Bitcoin because it enables payments from unstable parts of the world.

"A merchant can ship their goods, knowing they are going to get paid. And for some merchants, that's the difference of servicing an international market or not."

You can go to my website to learn more about Bitcoin.

Watch Clark Howard weekday mornings on Action News This Morning on FOX30 beginning at 7 a.m.
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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of Action News Jacksonville

Gators57 - 4/23/2013 7:44 AM
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Good to see Bitcoin finally catching on. BitPay is doing a great job in payment market, and Atlanta-based CampBX is also taking chunks away from other bitcoin trading sites.
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