Some Alaskans bet on Bitcoin virtual currency

alaskabitcoin23 Dec 2013 / Anchorage Daily News – A 4-year-old “virtual” currency called Bitcoin is finding investors around the world, including in Alaska. Bitcoin’s growth has been fueled largely by a handful of ardent believers who see online money as a staple of future commerce.

On a national stage, Bitcoin has earned itself a starkly divided reputation. Some love it because it’s anonymous, Web- based and potentially lucrative. Others hate it for the same reasons. Most don’t know enough to weigh in either way.

Bitcoin is in an awkward teenage phase — not quite elevated from its geek-centric roots as a computer program, and not mainstream enough for commercial acceptance.

D.G., a resident of Anchorage, started bitcoin “mining” two years ago. “Virtual mining” is required to create bitcoins. D.G. says he broke into the alternative currency business at a good time.

D.G. would only speak with the Daily News on the promise of anonymity. Like many bitcoin users, he considers his anonymity of paramount importance. What’s at risk, he said, is his mining infrastructure — the computers he calls his “farm” — and the safety of his family, several of whom are also bitcoin “miners.”

“It wouldn’t be any different if I had a gold mine in my backyard,” he explained.

D.G. considers himself a regular Alaskan. He’s in his 40s. He’s a dad. He works as a property manager. A love of entrepreneurship led him to get involved in bitcoin and other e-currencies.

The origin of Bitcoin is murky at best. In 2009, a computer programmer operating under the pseudonym “Satoshi Nakamoto” released a program that some describe as the digital embodiment of a true natural resource boom. About two years ago, Nakamoto disappeared from the Internet, though the program continues to run…… Read more

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