Space on Columbia’s Main Street can be rented for Bitcoin

mainstreet19 Mar 2014 / The State – The top half of a building that Aaron Seekford owns on Columbia’s Main Street has been vacant for half a year.

So when a friend suggested Seekford accept bitcoins — rather than dollars — for rent, Seekford thought: Why not?

“It’s better than just letting the building sit there,” he said.

The relatively new digital currency has received a lot of attention in recent weeks, not all of it good.

One of the major Bitcoin exchanges, Japan’s Mt. Gox, filed for bankruptcy protection after losing hundreds of millions of dollars worth of the currency. In response, the value of bitcoins dropped slightly; however it is down 50 percent from its all-time high last year. Undeterred bitcoin supporters said Mt. Gox’s failure was important to weed out “bad actors.”

Businesspeople, including Seekford, are trying to capitalize on the attention generated by the novel currency. Instances are popping up around the country of business owners accepting bitcoins for payment, including a café in North Carolina, a steel building manufacturer in Colorado and a lakefront property owner in Idaho. Even is getting on board.

“It’s an attention-getter,” said Steven Mann, chairman of the finance department at the University of South Carolina’s Moore School of Business.

Mann said accepting bitcoins is a smart gimmick by business people trying to attract attention. But will the digital currency survive? “The jury’s still out,” he said.

“There’s going to be a digital currency that succeeds one day because it has some advantages,” Mann said. “It’s likely not Bitcoin because it’s probably too early. But something like Bitcoin will be here in five years” in widespread use….. Read more

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