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Bitcoins are accepted by a growing number of merchants, even used to pay some employees

Bitcoin Magazine this week heralded some exciting news. The popular cryptocurrency that's free of regulation by any nation state has hit a new high of $32 USD/Bitcoin on Mt. Gox, the world's largest exchange.  The previous high had been $31.9099 on June 8, 2011.

Right after hitting that previous high, Bitcoin values began a freefall, which we covered in our piece "Digital Black Friday: First Bitcoin "Depression" Hits".  It was unclear whether the plunge was due merely to profit taking or other issues.  Shortly thereafter, the currency was further devalued when MtGox was hit with a database dump attack and users accounts were compromised due to the service's weak MD5 hashing of passwords.  It took the site months to rebuild trust, beef up security, and unwind the trail of fraudulent transfers.

The Bitcoin rollercoaster ride bottomed out at $2 USD/coin in November 2011.  And last fall BitFloor -- another major exchange -- was hacked, and $250,000 USD worth of Bitcoins were stolen.  But despite that, the currency continued to creep upwards.

Bitcoins on the rise
Bitcoins values have soared in the last six months. [Chart]

Inflation remains a serious concern for Bitcoins, as do scammers using classic techniques like Ponzi schemes.  And there's the issue of Bitcoin-mining malware that's afflicted PC and Mac users alike.  However, the currency's utility as an (relatively) untraceable and easy to use digital currency is keeping it sailing high.

Popular social media site Reddit recently gave Bitcoins a boost, by accepting the cryptocurrency as a means of paying for "Gold" premium memberships.  LaCie Group SA's (EPA:LAC) "Wuala" and Kim Dotcom's new "Mega" file sharing services both accept Bitcoins as a means of payment.

Mt. Gox remains the most popular place to buy and sell Bitcoins.

Domain registrar Namecheap is also considering BitCoin.  And is currently accepting BitCoin payments for various services.

Source: BitCoin Magazine

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By BTCM on 3/1/2013 10:19:05 AM , Rating: 2
It's been an amazing evolution during the last few months. If you had invested all your money on Bitcoin when it was worth $13 you'd have doubled your money in less than two months. What will 2013 bring to Bitcoin? At the moment it's increasing its at a rate of 10% each week! If you still don't use this virtual currency, start here now! Don't miss the boat! -

RE: Incredible
By ppardee on 3/1/2013 11:51:05 AM , Rating: 2
So you're saying that we should get bitcoins at their inflated price as a way to invest? Buy high, sell low... great advice.

RE: Incredible
By Johnathon Galt on 3/1/2013 4:40:08 PM , Rating: 2
Ben Bernanke is currently creating 85 billion Federal Reserve Notes every month and God only knows when he's going to stop. Probably not until the US Dollar has the same purchasing power as the Zimbabwe Dollar. There will eventually be a total of 21 million bitcoins. That's a ratio of over 4,000 Federal Reserve Notes being created EVERY MONTH for each and every Bitcoin that will ever exist ($85B / 21M BTC = $4047.62). Considering that, I'd say Bitcoins are still pretty cheap. Benny Bucks do have one advantage over Bitcoins. At least you'll be able to use them in your fireplace to keep warm. That's about the only thing they'll be good for in a few years.

RE: Incredible
By schmandel on 3/1/2013 12:05:12 PM , Rating: 2
I have never regretted selling a Bitcoin nor have I ever held any for very long at all.

It was evident more than a year ago that Bitcoin would never be a significant system for legitimate transactions. The ultimately fixed supply of Bitcoins, a built-in increasing cost of producing them, and hoarding makes it very, very late to arrive at this party.

You missed it. Bitcoin is an experiment that has run its course, one than apparently cannot be enhanced or refined to make it widely useful.

"If they're going to pirate somebody, we want it to be us rather than somebody else." -- Microsoft Business Group President Jeff Raikes

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