GAINESVILLE, TX -- A new type of currency called Bitcoin is growing increasingly popular and just Friday a Gainesville store began accepting this electronic money.
The Crossroads Express Stop in Gainesville is now accepting this new type of currency that is bought and managed online.
"The official name is Cryptocurrency where transactions occur digitally over the internet across little bits of data," Reiter said.
Bitcoins are used worldwide and Crossroads Store Co-owner Dave Reiter says there are numerous benefits to using the online currency for both merchants and consumers. For one, the Bitcoin transaction fee is cheaper for businesses charging one percent compared to a usual three or four percent with credit cards.
"We save about two to three percent per transaction. So that's good for us," Reiter said.
Reiter says using Bitcoins also protects you from identity theft.
"When you purchase Bitcoin you do not have to give your social security number or date of birth," Reiter said.
Bitcoins are stored in a digital wallet.
"Each time they purchase a Bitcoin they're assigned an ID number or transaction number, and basically an ID number is just a series of letters and numbers. It's about 20 digits long, and that's how you keep up with your Bitcoin" Reiter said.
Right now, Reiter says one Bitcoin can be bought for about $950 dollars. In 2012 he says the price of a Bitcoin was less than $10 dollars.
He says the currency's fluctuating value may be a concern for some.
"Sometimes during the day or during the week or during an entire month there is more of a demand for Bitcoins. So the stronger the demand the higher the price goes up," Reiter said.
If you want to use your Bitcoins all you need is your smartphone or your Bitcoin ID number. If you use your smartphone the entire transaction will only take about a second.
For more information on Bitcoin visit the websites below.
For more information you can also call Dave Reiter at 940-759-2192.