Now, it's ever-more mainstream. He thinks it could end up being as lucrative as Amazon or Google stock, and for him it is worth risking a decent sum in Bitcoin, rather getting caught on the sidelines.
It's hard to resist the action.
In 2017 alone, the price of a Bitcoin exploded from under $1,000 in January to more than $10,000 in early December, earning the top cryptocurrency a market capitalization of more than $167 billion.
Jay Blaskey, a digital currency specialist at BitIRA, a retirement option for cryptocurrencies, said Bitcoin represents the next evolution of money. "There is a lot of enthusiasm, but part of it is likely driven by hype", Catalini said. It certainly is very robust against fraud.
"It's no wonder people are questioning whether this is a bubble", Craig Erlam, the senior market analyst at Oanda says, via US Today.
A number of online and physical shops accept Bitcoin - from pubs and florists to holiday booking websites and charities.
"It's outrageous what CME is doing", said Byrne, a fellow at the Adam Smith Institute, a free-market think tank in the United Kingdom and former chief operating officer of Monax, a blockchain software company in London.
"The fundamental thing is that governments will pull the rug out at some point", he says. A corresponding spike in the price of gold was observed in mid-2016, but nothing has performed quite like Bitcoin over the past 18 months. The law would create a regulated framework in which banks could store cryptocurrencies and electronic payment processing firms could transfer them. About 16 million have already been "mined".
CME's announcement is the latest evidence that the world's masters of money are serious about incorporating bitcoin and similar "cryptocurrencies" into the global economy.
Now, bitcoin is all the rage.
"Bitcoin is 21st century tulips", he said. "So some buyers will lose a lot of money". It is something which is still an underground activity, and because of that, major banks are not able to provide people with Bitcoin.
Former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan has said that "you have to really stretch your imagination to infer what the intrinsic value of bitcoin is", calling the cryptocurrency a "bubble". Savings accounts offer no real return.
The next stop for the bitcoin surge could be the United States.
That "would be a game changer", he says. Nevertheless, the blockchain technology with which the digital currency relies on holds a huge potential to be as disruptive as the Internet. These computers or nodes would also keep a record of these transactions in what can be called a public ledger.
But there's a dark side, too. Some are legitimate, some not.
Ether, the second-largest digital currency, has posted massive gains since the bitcoin forks began.
"There are scammy ventures that promise you the next bitcoin", says Leo Weese, president of the Bitcoin Association of Hong Kong. It is not computers but people who need to decide this issue.
Predictions of Bitcoin's demise are common. "Almost everyone knows the word, but my guess is that only 5 or 10 percent understand what it is...."
The introduction of bitcoin futures could also ultimately prove detrimental to its valuation should clearing organisations come under stress amid the digital currency's wild swings. Investing in something just because it has gone up has never been sensible. "They will just borrow money or do margin trading and they just gamble". "Given the appreciation we've seen, everyone is talking about it".
The pattern of Bitcoin increasing while conventional investments plummet applies closer to home as well. "But by now there are millions of people who want to get into the market". "So this is something that, if it succeeds, can become very big".
Andreessen Horowitz had a more diverse approach than Union Square by investing in a wider variety of transaction technology. Now, his stash is worth $2,400. "At that time I got to know that crypto-currency makes worldwide transactions a lot easier", he said.
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