Bitcoin spawns business in Tampa Bay area - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

Bitcoin spawns business in Tampa Bay area

Posted: Updated:
WFLA's Lauren Mayk interviews Jonathan Simms about BitCoin. WFLA's Lauren Mayk interviews Jonathan Simms about BitCoin.
TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

Bitcoin, the digital currency that's picked up investors and gotten attention worldwide, has some believers in the Tampa Bay area.

"I see this becoming the new currency of the world," said Jonathan Simms, a Tampa resident who works in the Bitcoin industry in Sarasota.

Simms says he got involved with Bitcoin when it was worth about $50. In recent days, the going rate for a Bitcoin has been more than $650 on online exchanges.

Bitcoins are not physical coins, but virtual money that users keep in digital wallets, and trade on exchanges similar to a stock or commodities exchange.

Bitcoin can be bought from someone online, but can also be earned in a process called "mining" by solving complicated math problems.  That's where Simms and his colleagues at Digital Mining Investments come in, using their computers to solve those problems for clients.

Bitcoins – or fractions of them – can be used to buy physical items at retailers that accept them, including Overstock.com and the café in the building where Digital Mining Investments is located in Sarasota.

But while the virtual currency has gained fans who use it as an investment or a way to pay for lunch, criminals have also started to exploit it.

"We know from experience that criminals have actually utilized virtual currency to traffic child pornography to purchase, to sell illegal weapons, poisons, toxins," said FBI Special Agent Dave Couvertier.

Agents are on the lookout for the use of digital currency on underground networks where transfers are hard to trace.

Last month, a 19-year-old Florida man was arrested after allegedly selling a potentially deadly toxin to an undercover Homeland Security Investigations agent in a Bitcoin transaction on a website known as "Black Market Reloaded," or BMR.

Related Links: Bit Coin information

COPYRIGHT 2014 WFLA  All Rights Reserved

  • NewsMore>>

  • Man killed outside Tampa club in early morning shooting

    Man killed outside Tampa club in early morning shooting

    Thursday, August 21 2014 3:59 AM EDT2014-08-21 07:59:05 GMT
    Shooting scene at Whiting and Jefferson in downtown TampaShooting scene at Whiting and Jefferson in downtown Tampa
    A man was shot and killed outside Club Underground in downtown Tampa early Thursday morning, Tampa Police say.
    A man was shot and killed outside Club Underground in downtown Tampa early Thursday morning, Tampa Police say.
  • Alive and well but Pasco veteran declared dead by government

    Alive and well but Pasco veteran declared dead by government

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 10:51 PM EDT2014-08-21 02:51:54 GMT
    92-year-old Frances Evans finds humor in the fact that the government considers her dead.92-year-old Frances Evans finds humor in the fact that the government considers her dead.
    When 92-year-old Frances Evans got a letter in the mail about her death, she laughed. “What's funny is they're sending the letter to me, telling me they're sorry I'm deceased.
    When 92-year-old Frances Evans got a letter in the mail about her death, she laughed. “What's funny is they're sending the letter to me, telling me they're sorry I'm deceased.
  • Former UCF student in mortal danger

    Former UCF student in mortal danger

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 10:35 PM EDT2014-08-21 02:35:43 GMT
    NBC picture of Steven SotloffNBC picture of Steven Sotloff
    Video taped in the Iraqi desert, a man draped in black, with his face covered speaks with an British or New Zealand accent. “This is James Wright Foley, an American citizen of your country.” Moments before he beheaded Journalists James Foley, the knife-carrying man demanded air strikes stop, and warned, another American newsman, Steven Sotloff, could be next.
    Video taped in the Iraqi desert, a man draped in black, with his face covered speaks with an British or New Zealand accent. “This is James Wright Foley, an American citizen of your country.” Moments before he beheaded Journalists James Foley, the knife-carrying man demanded air strikes stop, and warned, another American newsman, Steven Sotloff, could be next.
  • Sign up for WFLA News Channel 8 Email Alerts

    * denotes required fields






    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
Powered by WorldNow

1336 Augusta West Parkway
Augusta, GA 30909

Telephone: 706.722.6664
Email: talkback6@wjbf.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.