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Bitcoin surges in popularity in North American

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail CNTV, January 29, 2014
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The Miami Beach Convention Center in Florida was the chosen venue for the first-ever North American Bitcoin Conference, this past weekend. Savvy Startups trying to mint fortunes from Bitcoins introduced new technologies to promote widespread use of the cyber-currency.

When Bitcoin vendors organized North America's first Bitcoin conference, they say they chose Miami Beach for two reasons. The obvious one, said a participant, was "its warm." The less obvious reason is a strategic one-Miami is an airport hub for capitals across the Americas, especially Latin America.

The conference aimed to make the digital currency more mainstream than it already is. Bitcoin is electronic cash - exchanged "peer-to-peer" - outside the world's central banking systems.

And it's growing in popularity. Enterprises like "coingig" - an Amazon-style e-commerce site launched last year by Kenneth Metral - is growing. Coingig is like a "digital mall" with around a thousand stores so far. Metral says his site is already generating nearly a million dollars a year in sales.

Kenneth Metral, CEO of, said, "About now we are doing about a 100 bit coins a month in transactions." CCTV reporter Nitza Soledad Perez asked: "In dollars how much would that be?" "About 80,000 dollars a month, not bad for a startup," Metral answered.

Bitcoin is an innovative cyber-currency that is very easy to use, but not that easy to buy. However, that is exactly what the young entrepreneurs in this industry are trying to do.

BitPay dispenses Bitcoins like an ATM, running off a Google Nexus tablet.

Tony Gallippi, co-founder & CEO of Bitpay, said, "So I'm going to put in, 20 dollars. It receives that and now it's going to send me the Bitcoins. I can feed more money if I want to, but 20 is enough. So now it's going to connect to our servers. It's going to broadcast the transaction, and send the Bitcoins. That's done and now if I go into my phone, right there you see the transaction. It was immediate."

New West Technologies developed a Bitcoin transaction platform integrated with Microsoft's Retail Management System. Customers pay with their digital wallets.

Dan King, President of New West Technologies, said, "It's a big change. We deal a lot with regulatory industries, banks and financial people, and there is a ton of rules a ton of problems, a lot of red tape, and this is something that supersedes all that."

One company here, BitPay, already has Miami rocking to the Bitcoin beat. One of the most popular bars on Ocean drive is already accepting Bitcoins.

For those who considered Bitcoins a pseudo-currency for scam artists and geeks, well, after this conference, they may have to think again.

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