An unlikely star came out of a May Gawker story revealing an underground drug website: the Bitcoin. The decentralized digital currency that approximates cash has recently grown to a phenomenon, spawning derivatives trading and attracting the attention of Wall Street investors. One investor, whom BetaBeat referred to as “Bill,” described the Bitcoin trading as Wall Street 15 to 20 years ago, with “fragmented markets, wide spread, manipulation, the trading stone ages.”
Exchanges have sprung up in a number of countries, so Bitcoins can represent U.S. dollars, euros, yen, and even Chilean pesos. The downside to this completely unregulated online economy is that the possibility exists that a bitcoin exchange can unexpectedly disappear, as BetaBeat found exploring the disappearance of MyBitcoin.com.