The online currency known as Bitcoin was coincidentally shoved into the spotlight last week when the federal government shut down the drug trafficking site Silk Road, run by Austin native Ross Ulbricht.
But as the Silk Road headlines fade, the value of the Bitcoin market will continue to evolve.
Ryan Oquin works in high-tech full time, and pays as close attention to markets as a day trader. Like many 24 year olds, he grew up on the Internet.
That’s why Oquin understands how to make money in the international, virtual marketplace. He won’t say how much, but Oquin admits he has benefited from Bitcoin trading.
“People make tons of money trading Bitcoin,” he said. “I have an application on my phone that shows me the price of it. So anytime I look at the price of it, I look at my home screen it tells me its worth.”
People can make money trading Bitcoins because the value of a Bitcoin fluctuates. Experts say the Bitcoin market can be volatile, and just like on Wall Street, people can and do lose money
When Bitcoin came online in 2008 it cost less than $10 and it has been gaining value ever since. On Friday, October 11, one Bitcoin was valued around $141.
On Oct 2, the day the federal government unveiled the Ulbricht arrest, the Bitcoin market plunged, but only briefly.
“After the initial fear of Bitcoin no longer being implemented, it bounced back to almost its value before Silk Road,” patent attorney Gene Pierson said.
Most experts believe the currency is here to stay.
“I feel like Bitcoin will stay around until there is something that can replace it,” Oquin said. “If it takes in business, any business is good business.”
Unlike the U.S. market, however, Bitcoin is not regulated by any government nor does it have a central issuing authority, like the Federal Reserve.