A few Minnesota merchants have begun to accept Bitcoin as payment for goods and services.
TechDotMn reports that Minnesota, like the rest of the U.S., lags behind the curve on use of Bitcoins, but found some early adopters, most located in the greater Twin Cities area.
In November, ABC News offered an explainer on the alternative currency, noting that Bitcoins are completely virtual. The story said that Bitcoins exist only online and are not controlled by a central authority like the Federal Reserve. All transactions take place in an online marketplace, where users are untraceable. The Telegraph called it a "peer-to-peer digital currency" which can be used to purchase real-world as well as online goods and services.
In Minneapolis, Slam Academy, an electronic arts/sound school, began accepting Bitcoin earlier this month, and The Movement Minneapolis, an Uptown training studio, began using the currency six months ago. Neither has yet had a Bitcoin customer.
Hyponisis & Psychotherapy for Health and Healing in Minnetonka has had a few clients use the currency, transactions that owner Amy Zilka called "silky smooth. " She began offering the Bitcoin option because the practice is cash-based and does not accept insurance.
New Prague-based Daleko Arts calls itself the nation's first theater company to accept Bitcoins, and will accept them as payment for tickets in the coming season. Meanwhile, Justin Hawley of Rochester's Hawley Productions began accepting the coins in response to his mistrust of traditional currency.
The Week noted that the world's first Bitcoin ATM opened in Vancouver last month.
And if your head hasn't exploded trying to take all of this in, check this. Last week, Business Insider carried a story on digital currency Litecoin, which the report said is growing faster then Bitcoin and noted that website Coinmarketcap tracks about two-dozen alternate currencies riding Bitcoin's coattails.