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Bitcoin in the Big Easy

| December 3, 2013 | Comments (1)

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Image by Zennie Abraham.

Image by Zennie Abraham.

Bitcoin is an open source peer-to-peer electronic currency that offers anonymity through its secure transactions. Although the center of some controversy, the already famously popular currency has made its way to Louisiana.

Only a handful of retailers in Louisiana currently accept Bitcoins. David’s Antiques in New Orleans is one of those retailers.

The French Quarter store sells antiques along with new items as well. Ester Edry, who runs the store along with husband David, embraces Bitcoin as she embraces mixing the old and new in her store.

Edry says she gets asked about the Bitcoin window sign every hour.

Edry says she gets asked about the Bitcoin window sign every hour.

David’s is a shop “on high technology,” according to Edry, and has been accepting Bitcoins since April. “Why not be the first to use it?” she asked herself months back.

Edry removed the more typical VISA MasterCard sign in the window and replaced it with a sign announcing David’s accepts Bitcoins.

“I enjoy and appreciate the community it creates, connecting us to clients and friends around the world. Bitcoin is bringing everyone together, free from exchange rates and red tape,” said Edry.

“We think it is worth noting, and beginning a conversation about, our small store being an innovative force in the rapidly changing business market,” she continued.

Allison & Allison, a Louisiana law firm for small businesses, also accepts Bitcoins directly.

The value of Bitcoin has risen so rapidly that it tops other big jumps in the tech space, beating out Amazon, Tesla, Netflix, Cisco and even Apple stocks. However, the only problem is that it is much harder to turn Bitcoins into dollars, unlike publicly traded stock. Using the currency in space is an easier approach.

Compared to the second largest jump– Amazon at 1,108% from March 1998 to March 1999– Bitcoin’s is far larger. From January 2013 to November 2013, Bitcoin increased by 7,134%. Bitcoins were originally valued at $13 and then jumped to over $1,000 (one Bitcoin today, December 3rd, is valued at $1053.94).

Bitcoin is so popular that one sign-holding student received over $25,000 when his sign made it onto ESPN. Someone was able to blow up the image, find his QR code, share on Reddit and then see the popularity explore across the Bitcoin community, prompting an Internet craze of anonymous donations, up to a few thousand dollars, to flood in.

The student, Reddit user BitcoinPitcher2, later shared that he was as surprised as anyone, posting, “It wasn’t supposed to take off like this!!!”

Heard of any crazy Bitcoin stories? Post in the comments below!

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Category: #NOLAtech, Growth, Louisiana, New Orleans, News

About Julia Ballard: Julia is the current Editor-In-Chief of Silicon Bayou News. She loves the entrepreneurial and tech community in New Orleans and believes there is no better time to be living here. Catch up with her on Twitter @juliaballard or send her an email at julia@siliconbayounews.com. View author profile.