'Bitcoin Milwaukee' group has largest meeting ever after price of online currency soars
The digital currency Bitcoin has reached an all time record. Thursday it surged above $14,000.
Many people in Milwaukee have taken advantage of the online-only currency.
"This is the way that money was supposed to be, but it's so much more than just money. The underlying technology behind blockchain it really what excites people because it's something that can really change the world," said Chris Jante.
Jante is part of the facebook group Bitcoin Milwaukee that does meet-ups once a month. Thursday, they met at a local bar and then took a tour of a data center that houses Jante's mining facility, called "Mind your own Blockchain." He says Thursday's meet up was their biggest turnout yet.
The few miners Jante showed to the group use more power than the average house, and work to process Bitcoin transactions.
Along with the price, Bitcoin's popularity is growing.
Starting Sunday, Bitcoin will be publicly traded in Chicago through the CBOE.
Some major companies including Microsoft and Overstock.com embrace it as currency.
30-year-old Brandon Standel says he used student loans to buy Bitcoins in 2013, and it paid off.
"I started doing a little bit of research, and I just bought a little bit when it was $30. I saw my investment grow quickly that year. The price went from $30 to $260 rapidly, and i realized, 'what is the point of US dollars if there's this deflationary asset that will consistently go up in value if people believe in it?'" said Standel.
He's now been living off bitcoin for four years.
"That's been my main source of income, and now I'm almost getting ready to retire," said Standel.
If you want to buy Bitcoin, they're available on a Bitcoin exchange. If you want to do some research before investing, Bitcoin Milwaukee encourages you do join their Facebook page for questions and discussion. Jante says Reddit and News BTC are also good sources.