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On The Story

Bitcoin

June 6, 2014 6:51am (EDT)

Sometimes history can be witnessed in a transition no one quite grasps at the time.

On Tuesday June 17, GPB’s “On the Story” plans to re-air a recent segment on Bitcoin, the virtual money that some say will be the next big thing in finance. We spoke with the co-founder of Atlanta-based BitPay, Stephen Pair, as well as Emory financial researcher Andrew Garfrerick. They did their best to demystify the Bitcoin world for Bill and Bobbie. It’s my responsibility as producer to be clear, but sometimes clarity is a slow process. Explaining that Bitcoin is an algorithm that lives in your smartphone or home computer and offers coded financial trades while promising autonomy is a pretty tough slog.

We took the first step with this episode. During the conversation, Pair mentioned that a single Bitcoin’s value was at about $400. A check today, scant weeks later, finds it’s topping $600. Our guests differed on some aspects of Bitcoin. Pair predicted it will be in common usage within a few years, while Garfrerick said something else may supplant the Bitcoin brand, but virtual currency is here to stay.

Every day I see new headlines: Google and Yahoo are now offering Bitcoin price updates, Expedia is accepting Bitcoin, and Mastadon joins Mel B and 50 Cent in accepting Bitcoin on sales of their music.

So, we’re all watching history unfold, while enjoying a moment of transition captured in this episode of “On the Story.” It may be like trying to take a drink from a fire hose, but it’s good information.

There’s a good chance you’ll be hearing a lot more about Bitcoin… when others catch up.

“On the Story” airs every Monday through Thursday on GPB.

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