There has been a lot of buzz recently about bitcoins, the global online currency system that opens up a new frontier of possibilities for entrepreneurs. Take 24 year-old graduate student Sapan Shah who owns a Subway restaurant in Allentown, Pennsylvania. While getting his MBA at Lehigh University, Shah uniquely allows customers to pay for food with bitcoins, a trend that has brought more support from bitcoin enthusiasts than he first thought.
As of Thursday according to Mt. Gox, a bitcoin exchange platform, one bitcoin is worth around $730 U.S. dollars, though bitcoin rates fluctuate often. With these numbers, it’s no surprise the buzz for establishing a bitcoin friendly system is trending.
Bitcoins offer users a decentralized online currency exchange platform that offers more privacy than other commerce sites like Paypal. This privacy platform was found to be most useful for the shady deals taking place on the recently shut down Silk Road site, an illegal black market for drugs and other dealings that took bitcoins as payment for transactions. The take down of Silk Road sparked a dilemma that U.S. congressmen are currently mulling over when it comes to the matter of regulation and policy for the online currency, highlighting the Wild West state that bitcoins find themselves in right now.
Within recent months, Vancouver has introduced the world’s first Bitcoin ATM, a university in Cyprus has become the first school to accept tuition payments in bitcoins, and the world has heard of the first digital currency heists involving bitcoins. According to ABC Australia, an 18 year-old entrepreneur who started an online bitcoin bank was hacked and robbed of about 4,100 bitcoins, a substantial amount worth over 1 million dollars.
With bitcoins, the possibilities for entrepreneurs in online commerce is currently limitless. What do you think about the bitcoin craze?