Bitcoin

If you're tempted to join the cryptocurrency bandwagon, regulators say you should take a pause before you click "buy."

Following bitcoin's meteoric price rise in 2017 — from just under $1,000 in January to nearly $20,000 in December — there's been a rush to cash in on cryptocurrencies and the blockchain technology that makes them possible.

Numerous investment vehicles have been created to meet this surge in consumer demand.

On their first day of trading, bitcoin futures surged past $18,000, adding to a streak for the digital currency that began the year at just $1,000 and has nearly tripled in value over the past month alone.

Reuters reports that bitcoin futures, traded through the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), saw January contracts, which opened at $15,460 in New York on Sunday evening, leap to a high of $17,170 during Asian hours.

Bitcoin's price has already spiked more than 1,000 percent in the past 12 months. Now it's flirting with another milestone: a $10,000 price for a single unit of the cryptocurrency.

Bitcoin's rise has been both meteoric and volatile, with surges in valuation often being driven by positive reports about its status. Earlier this year, for instance, Japan recognized bitcoin as an official method of payment. It has also continued to attract interest from investors.

WLRN's Five Most Popular Stories Jan. 27-31

Feb 3, 2014
Tom Hudson

Modern-day slavery in Brazil, Bitcoin's rising popularity among South Florida merchants, rent spikes, human trafficking and a killer whale dominated the top stories this week.

Bitcoin in South Florida: Real Business Taking Virtual Money: Flower shops, burger joints and -yachts? The digital currency Bitcoin is gaining wider acceptance among merchants, including a few in South Florida.

casascius.com

Arrests in New York and Florida in late January indicate the global virtual currency Bitcoin has the attention of federal prosecutors: A top executive with a Bitcoin trade organization was one of those charged. The second man arrested was Robert Faiella, at his home in Cape Coral.

Faiella was charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering and operating an unlicensed money exchange business.  They are accused of helping push money through the online drug marketplace Silk Road.  

Tom Hudson

Bitcoin may not sound revolutionary but to its supporters and users the digital global currency could be the future of payment. To regulators, it's a curiosity they're viewing with concern.  And for a growing number of individuals and companies in South Florida, it's an opportunity to experiment.  

What is it?

North American Bitcoin Conference Comes To Miami

Jan 27, 2014
Hillary Lindwall/WLRN

Bitcoin users from around the world attended this year's North American Bitcoin Conference this past weekend at the Miami Beach Convention Center.

Moe Levin, who organized the conference, says attendance exceeded his expectations.

"I was expecting 800 people and now there are 1,200," Levin said. "It [was] a hugely successful Bitcoin conference."

Conference goers attended workshops held by Bitcoin-accepting and facilitating merchant vendors, like bitpay and 3DCart.  

Digital Currency Conference Hits Miami Beach

Jan 27, 2014
Hillary Lindwall/WLRN

Hundreds of Bitcoin users flocked to Miami Beach this weekend for the North American Bitcoin Conference

Bitcoin is a form of digital currency that Florida Atlantic University finance professor Charles Evans says will change the way international business is conducted.

South Florida Can Buy With Bitcoin This Christmas

Dec 19, 2013
Planet Linux Caffe

Contribution from the Miami Herald

In the past year, the electronic payment system called Bitcoin has reached a certain level of ubiquity in national and international conversation.

 

Its intersection in the tech and finance worlds has piqued the interest of various groups and governments, but the “crypto-currency” remains somewhat mysterious.