Virtual coins come to Rapid City

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - Bitcoins have grown quickly in the past year being accepted by restaurants or stores across the country. And now has found its way to Rapid City.

In 2009, Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency invented. Cryptocurrency are lines of computer code that hold monetary value.

"I've been watching Bitcoin for over a year now some people have been watching it for 5 or 6 years and just this year has been a pretty amazing thing. That I don't think that in my lifetime, especially my adult lifetime, we've seen something like this happen,” said Nathan Hardig, Owner of Rushmore Coin and Heroes and Villains.

These virtual coins can be owned by anyone. They can be obtained in a process called “mining,” which involves commanding your computer to work 24/7 to solve intensive math problems. And the interest to turn Bitcoins into metal is why Harding thinks it’s a good idea to bring the currency downtown.

"You can select which item you want, whether it's an ounce of gold or ounces of silver or coins or whatever you want. We'd come to a total price at that point and then they go into their Bitcoin account and they a unique code which then they can send to us,” said Harding.

Governments have no control over this currency, which is why they are so popular.

"It's kind of like having U.S. dollars, but not really. You can convert your Bitcoin into a lot of things at this point,” said Harding.

Right now only 21 million Bitcoins exist and around 11 million have been collected. Harding hopes they will be drawn to his store.

"Even when people come in for the tourist season maybe that have Bitcoin, they can see that oh there is a place here that accepts it,” said Harding.

Harding can not believe how quickly it has taken off this year and feels that he has seen nothing like it in his lifetime.

"I hope it sparks some more interest in the community. I hope people find out that we're doing this and that there is some more interest not just in Bitcoin, but in all the cyrptocurriences out there and a new world of you know digital worldwide currency that's happening right now,” said Harding.

Rushmore Coin will also accept Ethereum and Litecoin, but you cannot buy Bitcoin from the store.