Bitcoins, virtual gold coins emblazoned with the letter B, look like the
currency of video game aficionados and computer science graduates rather than
a legitimate medium of exchange. But for those who are paying attention,
bitcoin is beginning to look increasingly attractive as a financial tool and as an investment.
To date, consumers have been slow to embrace bitcoin trading. In a recent report by the Digital Currency Council, 74 percent of
respondents said they are highly unlikely to use bitcoin in the next year. Those who do use it tend to be young, between 18 and 24 years old. The digital
currency’s popularity is also higher among nonwhites and those with lower
But the lack of consumer interest hasn’t stopped investors from sniffing around bitcoin. In fact, according to Coinbase, a bitcoin wallet and exchange company
with about 3 million users, 80 percent of those users are buying, selling and
holding bitcoins as investments, while only 20 percent are using them for day-to-day spending.