Macomb business backs Bitcoin

Erika Ward

 Bitcoin — a new form of online crypto-currency — has made its way to a new business in Macomb. 

NextEv Technology Solutions, a consulting business for PC, Apple and Android devices, is the first business in the Macomb area to accept the new form of currency referred to as “bitcoin.” 

The form of digital currency is the first “decentralized peer-to-peer payment network,” according to its website. 

Business partners Austin Payne and Kyle Randolph, the founders of NextEv Technology Solutions, hope to introduce this new currency to the central Illinois area. 

“Bitcoin is a new and upcoming means of currency,” Randolph said. “The really cool thing about it is that it’s international; anybody can share bitcoins.” 

“The bitcoins I have in the United States are the same in France, Germany, and everywhere else. It’s the very first universal currency,” he said. 

Bitcoin mining pays “miners” for using their computer’s graphics cards and processors, which are used to solve algorithms. “(Bitcoin is) just like any other currency,” Randolph said. “It has value because we agree that it has value. It’s kind of a difficult thing to wrap your mind around.” 

In order to use Bitcoin, a person installs a “wallet” on his or her smartphone or computer and is given a specific address that can be given to anyone the user wishes to involve in a transaction. All transactions are safe and secure because of a block chain network, which keeps a record of every transaction performed using Bitcoin. 

“It’s not just that you are the one saying that the transaction happened, it’s that there’s a million other people saying the same thing,” Randolph said. “It’s very difficult to destroy a million computers. That’s the whole cloud computing aspect.” 

There are a few different ways to get bitcoins, such as through payment, purchasing them at an exchange center, earning bitcoins through “mining” or exchanging them with another person. “That’s going to be a person-to-person meeting where you can scan a QR (Quick Response) code that is their account location, just like your account information at your bank,” Randolph explained. “The QR code scan tells them the address and you enter the amount that you’re transferring over.” 

Randolph added that some of the local computer stores in Macomb have Bitcoin exchange centers. 

Transactions are distributed through a mass of people participating in mining who will confirm a transaction by adding it to the block chain. The block chain is organized in chronological order, helping keep the network neutral and secure. 

“I think (it) has the potential to take off anywhere,” Randolph said. “It just allows you to have your money in a different way. A lot of people don’t realize the Federal Reserve is private; they’re the ones controlling inflation as a private entity separate from the government. We are already putting our faith in a system that can just inflate and deflate based on the fair market value of things. It’s a lot more difficult to do that with Bitcoin; it only inflates at a certain rate. It’s impossible to go any faster.” 

Bitcoin is being used by a variety of big businesses including Namecheap, WordPress, Reddit, Flattr, Overstock, Amazon, Target, CVS and many more. 

However, Bitcoin seems to still be fairly new to the Macomb area. 

“There’s not a lot of other places with it in the area,” Randolph said. “We are trying to stay on the cutting edge of technology. We’re trying to stay on the ball, if not ahead of it, as far as what trends are going on.”