Reno, NV (KRNV & MyNews4.com) - Jay Yerxa is a self-proclaimed tech geek and early adopter of Bitcoin, so passionate about this digital currency, that he spends his free time introducing Bitcoin to local businesses, like Red Rock bar in downtown Reno.
Red Rock started accepting Bitcoin in November, just one of three local businesses in Reno to do so.
So what is Bitcoin?
"The creation of Bitcoin is based on a computer algorithm," Yerxa explains.
Unlike traditional banking systems, no one entity controls the Bitcoin financial network. Bitcoin value is based on direct transactions that are verified by peer to peer computers all over the world.
It's unregulated across borders and mathematically constrained. It’s an idea that Red Rock owner, Kevin McGehee was excited to jump on.
"Bitcoin does something that nothing else does. Sociologically, it makes us turn our interdependence on each other; and for you and I to agree this has value, therefore it's worth something," he says.
McGehee also saw benefits as a small business owner: low transaction fees and a quick payment system.
When it's time to close out and you're paying by Bitcoin, you don't get a paper bill. Instead, QR codes are displayed for you to scan with your phone.
“They literally take their smart phone, scan the QR code and that transaction happens like that,” says McGehee. “So it's made things very simply and fast.”
From there, Bitcoin can be converted back to dollars. The Bitcoin market is very volatile and Yerxa and McGehee believe it could stabilize if more merchants accept it.
“It isn't something that has been completely validated,” says McGehee. “So there are people that are willing to assume a little bit more risk... I think it's exciting because it's the beginning of a new frontier.”