One Norwegian man is benefiting big-time after buying into bitcoin – a decentralized and universal currency used for online transactions – at the perfect time. Kristoffer Koch purchased 5,000 bitcoins for 150 kroner ($27) in 2009 while writing a thesis on encryption. He eventually forgot about it until the media covered the peer-to-peer currency four years later. He went to retrieve his forgotten investment, and much to his surprise, the $27-purchase ballooned to $886,000.
The digital currency is still pretty volatile, but it's climbing. Since being sold for virtually nothing in 2009, it has enjoyed continual growth despite some bumps on the road and is valued at USD $460/bitcoin in May 2016. So how do you buy a decentralized currency? It starts by creating a digital wallet, such as Kraken. Once you have a wallet, there are three ways to acquire bitcoins: you can accept them as payment for a service, you can buy them from a friend, or you can buy them through your digital wallet's exchange service.
Once you have the currency, you can either keep it as an investment, or you can use it in online transactions and in certain brick-and-mortar stores. More and more merchants are opening their doors to bitcoin currency, and some big names include WordPress.com, Reddit, Amazon and Home Depot. There are even a handful of pubs in England where you can get a pint for your bitcoins. For those preferring fast cash, Vancouver, Canada made headlines when a coffee shop called Waves Coffee housed the first-ever bitcoin ATM. One place bitcoins have yet to be accepted is in physical casinos. While Golden Gate and D Las Vegas made waves for accepting bitcoin payments in their hotel and souvenir shops, they don't accept the crypto currency on their gaming floors.
Online casinos don't have that problem. The digital currency is really well-suited for digital gambling because it's quicker, simpler and cheaper to use than traditional deposit and withdrawal methods. For more information on how to use bitcoin for online gaming, check out our bitcoin tutorial.