Brother, Can You Spare A Bitcoin?

It was Christmas, and folks were exchanging gifts, like ya do. The office was lousy with giftcards and ugly sweaters, See’s Samplers and Christie’s Cookies, but the folks in eCommerce found something a little different under the tree: A gaudy, colorful slip of paper emblazoned with the words “Paper Wallet”. Sean had given us Bitcoin.

Being a roomful of nerds, most of us knew just what we were holding. Bitcoin is the first major cryptocurrency, a digital medium of exchange which is international, transparent, and free of regulation. On the off chance that you’re not acquainted with the concept, YouTube is here to help:


A Pog, a Bitcoin Paper Wallet (Newton not pictured.)

Like most rooms full of nerds, the eCom gang had many strong opinions about Bitcoin. Some filed Bitcoin away with Pogs and the Newton, as a flash in the pan destined to be the punchline on The Simpsons in five years.

Others, though, doubled down on the modest virtual nest egg (Sean’s gift was ~3.44mBTC, or around $2.50 at the time of this writing) and have seen a tidy return on their investment. They saw potential in an entirely virtual currency, and they’re not the only ones: Major retailers like Tiger Direct and have begun accepting Bitcoin for online purchase.

So what do you think? Is Bitcoin a game-changing international currency that will change the way we do business online, or a historical footnote, destined to join Google Buzz and AOL dial-up on the long list of former big deals that we laugh about now?

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