Cashing in on the bitcoin boom

boomrollercoaster09 Dec 2013 / LA Times – NEW YORK — Donald Duhaney brought a wallet full of cash to a Whole Foods in Manhattan’s trendy Lower East Side one recent evening. But he wasn’t in search of kale, quinoa or cage-free eggs.

Duhaney, 37, was in the market for bitcoins, the hot digital currency that has caught the eye of entrepreneurs and regulators. So he ventured to a pair of couches on the supermarket’s second floor, next to the Jamba Juice, where enthusiasts meet weekly to buy, sell and talk bitcoins.

He quickly found a seller: a quiet young man in a trench coat lounging in a green armchair. Along with a friend who trades so-called crypto currencies, the two used their iPhones to check bitcoin‘s going price — then about $830 on a leading online exchange.

Then they sealed the deal. Duhaney pulled out $1,005 — 10 crisp $100 bills, and five ones — in exchange for 1.2 bitcoin, which was transferred via an iPhone app.

“It looks like something nice to invest in,” said Duhaney, a computer programmer who lives in suburban White Plains, N.Y. “Right now, it’s taking off.”

It’s a bet speculators like Duhaney are increasingly making, helping briefly push up bitcoin’s price to more than $1,200 in late November as promoters saw the virtual currency gaining wider acceptance by merchants and consumers.

Bitcoin, which was valued at only $13 a year ago, has plummeted from its recent peak to $735 late Sunday, underscoring how volatile it remains….. Read more,0,4687478.story#axzz2mzrooMA8

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