Bitcoin | KUOW News and Information

Bitcoin

One of the Northwest’s selling points is its cheap hydropower. That’s why in recent years data centers have sprouted along the Columbia River in both Washington and Oregon.

But in north central Washington, an emerging power-hungry industry is meeting with some resistance. It involves the making and managing of the virtual currency called bitcoin.

The group behind the initiative to legalize recreational marijuana in Oregon is now accepting bitcoin contributions.

Rae Ellen Bichell / KPLU

The world's first bitcoin ATM launched last year in Vancouver, Canada. Now there's also a physical place in the Northwest to buy and sell the virtual currency – at the Spitfire Grill in Belltown.

Here's a surprising fact: the largest bitcoin "mine" in North America is located on the outskirts of Wenatchee, Wash.

Flickr Photo/Antana (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Imagine using online banking – without the bank.

Bitcoin is a digital currency that was created five years ago. It runs entirely on the sways of the free market: no government or banking institution is backing it.

Flickr Photo/mSeattle (CC BY-NC-ND)

Universities are used to accepting donations from alumni. They count on it.

But when the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma recently received a donation from 2007 graduate Nicholas Cary, its staff had to do some homework.