The first question about Bitcoin is usually, what is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is a digital currency, also known as cryptocurrency, that works just like cash. The difference is that it doesn't revolve around banks or government backing.
Bitcoin was established in 2009, and is widely recognized as the first cryptocurrency.
Bitcoin gained its value, in short, simply because a group of people decided to accept it and trade with it like you would with traditional currency.
To a lot of people Bitcoin is just an abstract idea stuck on the Internet, but a Boise business is now bringing Bitcoin into the physical world with a Bitcoin ATM.
Mindy Ngo with “The Lending Coin” is part of the team that brought the ATM to the Boise Tech Mall. She believes the future of digital currency is incredibly bright.
“The ATM gets used so many times a day," said Ngo. "It is the closest thing to being the perfect cryptocurrency, or currency period."
So how does the Bitcoin ATM work?
To put it simply, you put cash into the machine, it converts it to Bitcoin and through your unique code, it deposits it into your digital wallet.
Once you have Bitcoin, what do you do with it? Well, you spend it! But where?
Computer Central located in the Tech Mall is one of the few local businesses that accepts Bitcoin.
Computer Central Vice President Rich Want says the recent growth has been incredible.
“Six months ago or four months ago nobody even came in and asked, but today we have customers that come in we have more and more and it will continue to grow, there is no doubt about it," said Want.
While selling computers and components, Want watches every day as people rush into his store to use the Bitcoin ATM
"It's not uncommon for people to be here at closing squeezing through the doors to use it at closing, it is just used all the time now," said Want.
Computer Central isn't the only business inside the Boise Tech Mall that accepts Bitcoin.
Boise roofing company Rooftops Energy Solutions recently started taking Bitcoin. Owner Kenneth Crotz thinks accepting Bitcoin is just the way of the future.
Money I know will go away eventually and it will just be electronic coins, that's how things will be paid for. We are just trying to get in early," said Crotz.
Crotz and Want admit there are risks to accepting Bitcoin. Similar to the stock market, the cryptocurrency market can be very volatile
“It has had some big drops but it has rebounded and come back up it is a trend to watch," said Crotz.
"If somebody pays you today and Bitcoin is at $19,000 and tomorrow it drops to $12,000 then that's a problem," said Want.
But business owners like Rich Want are confident in the future,
"It's going to go back up, there is just no question about it, there is not a long-term concern in that vein it will right itself pretty quickly," said Want.