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Bitcoin

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One major exchange of the cyber currency Bitcoin has filed for bankruptcy after some $425 million in Bitcoins go missing, but South Florida businesses are still betting that the Bitcoin craze will catch on. In tonight's Money Monday, 7's Lynn Martinez breaks down the Bitcoin.

WSVN -- Chef Michell Sanchez: "This is the beginning of something that is going to change the way we deal with life."

Bitcoin is taking off in Miami.

Chef Michell Sanchez: "We're the first restaurant in the entire Southeast that decided to go full acceptance of Bitcoin."

Bitcoins are digital coins you can send through the Internet, which means you can pay for your tab without pulling out your wallet. Some love the concept and see it as the currency of the future that can be used to buy almost anything.

Dr. Charles Evans: "Coffee, spices, other goods that we could import for resale."

Carlos Yela: "Nose jobs, face-lifts, liposuction, hair transplants, hair removals."

But the currency was served a couple of big blows recently. Flexcoin, a Bitcoin exchange, closed after losing $600,000 in Bitcoins to hackers earlier this month, on the heels of a hack at another exchange, Mt. Gox, which forced the company to file for bankruptcy after $425 million in Bitcoins turned up missing.

Dr. Charles Evans: "All of the normal fears apply. When you're dealing with money, people are naturally very conservative."

Other exchanges for Bitcoin quickly jumped in to ease fears, releasing a statement saying the Mt. Gox downfall did not reflect the resilience or value of Bitcoin.

Supporters are very clear: The Bitcoin exchange is fluid.

Dr. Charles Evans: "With Bitcoins, as well as financial markets, nobody knows what the odds are. So, it's a crazy, speculative ride."

And some South Florida businesses are betting the Bitcoin not only recovers but takes off.

Chef Michell Sanchez: "I feel there's value in the Bitcoin itself. So we're looking at it as just an investment in our future."

Carlos Yela: "People don't completely understand it yet. People don't use it that often yet, but it's gonna grow."

Supporters still believe Bitcoins are safer than traditional bank accounts because all anyone can do with your Bitcoin account is send you money. They can't take it out.

Dr. Charles Evans: "If I have your credit card number, I can do the exact opposite. I can go shopping with your money."

And some businesses are offering discounts if you pay with Bitcoins.

Chef Michell Sanchez: "You get a 10 percent discount on your entire ticket if you pay in Bitcoin."

Carlos Yela: "There is no reason, there's no barrier for Miami to be the center for Bitcoin. Why not? That would be great for everybody."

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

http://bitcountant.com/who-we-are/

|http://www.meetup.com/Miami-International-Bitcoin-Group/?a=mm2_l6

http://www.latinhousegrill.com/

http://vanitymiami.com/

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