There’s a new currency on the market and it’s quickly gaining acceptance.  Called ‘bitcoin’ it is a purely digital currency, residing securely in a computers’ digital wallet and quickly moved across networks.  It is not tied to any one country or central bank.  It’s advantages are simplified mobile purchases, low transaction and transfer fees, and  fast international payments.

Notable vendors who accept it include Virgin Atlantic, Reddit, WordPress, and Chinese Internet giant Baidu.  On the law firm side, Rose Law Group is one that accepts bitcoins.  And according to CNBC, “Bitcoin’s advantages as a low-cost means of transferring money have intrigued a number of corporate clients of the law firm Proskauer, though none of them are using it, said Jeffrey D. Neuberger, co-chairman of the firm’s technology, media and communications group. “It’s an early-stage technology,” he said. “But it could be revolutionary.”

And yes, it recently made headlines when the FBI shut down Silk Road, a massive network of illegal drug dealers who were getting paid with bitcoins.  The U.S. government is investigating and held hearings a week ago.  According to Daniel Stuckey:

“Congress held its first-ever hearing on virtual currencies this afternoon, and it may have been the best PR boost bitcoin’s had yet. The tone at the hearing held before the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee was overwhelmingly positive as the panel weighed the risks of the technology that grew out of the criminal underbelly of the web, with the potential economic value of the now-booming futurist money. The prevailing sentiment over the two-hour deep dive into the pros and cons of the digital coins boils down to this: We need to uphold America’s position as center of technical innovation by welcoming the new currency—but that that can’t be done without government safeguards and regulations.”

It will be interesting to watch as this develops.

FYI: Here at Brightleaf, we don’t officially accept bitcoins at least not yet.  Although being a small, growing company we’re open to options and would gladly engage in a conversation with a new client who wanted to pay us that way.  I imagine we’d be receptive to any new client’s alternative payment terms such as gold nuggets, jewelry, goats, etc.  ;-).