Bitcoins are still something of a question mark for many investors, any yet, there are still thousands or even millions or billions that could be made by trading in the digital currency. So who are some real people who are really making money in bitcoins? Forbes staff writer Kashmir Hill listed some of them.
The First Bitcoin ETF?
Last week the Winklevoss twins filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission to create the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust, which would basically be an exchange-traded fund (or ETF) for bitcoins. Of course at this point it’s uncertain whether the SEC will approve such a fund on a currency that’s unregulated, but together, they do own about 1 percent of all the bitcoins in the world. They have the potential to rake it in on the currency if they play their cards right.
Processing Bitcoin Transactions
Because of the newness of bitcoins, there isn’t an infrastructure in place for businesses which want to accept the currency as a form of payment. Bitpay, which is based in Georgia, takes care of the processing of these payments so that actual stores, both online and brick and mortar, are able to accept bitcoins as payment.
With more than 7,000 clients, the company’s CEO told Forbes they’re processing about $5 million worth of transactions monthly. Bitpay keeps 1 percent of all the payments it processes, which of course is about $50,000 in actual dollar bills every month. Bitpay’s founders are hoping to make it into the bitcoin version of PayPal, unless of course, PayPal itself starts processing bitcoin payments at some point.
Digital Wallets For Bitcoins
San Francisco-based Coinbase also earns 1 percent of the transactions it processes to turn bitcoins into dollars and dollars into bitcoins. The company is still fairly new. It started in May and recorded $15 million in buys and sells, which means about $150,000 in monthly revenue for the company.
And of course we can’t forget that bitcoins are mined in a similar fashion to gold, except in the digital world. Forbes’ Hill mentions Butterfly Labs as a bitcoin miner, and one of the commenters on the site mentioned ASICMiner, claiming that it has a valuation of almost $2 million and that it handles almost 25 percent of the bitcoin mining that goes on today.