Advocates say Bitcoin is quickly becoming a force in the global economy and a Sioux Falls man is earning a living by "mining" the crypto-currency at his home.
Heat radiates off a noisy computer system in the corner of Ian Dixon's basement. The complicated setup makes the 23-year-old thousands of dollars' worth of Bitcoins.
“This is actually a lot less than I had even a week or two ago," Dixon said.
The Sioux Falls man became intrigued with cryptocurrency in 2011, and since then has invested nearly $10,000 to startup his business WeMineCoins.
"I heard that I can make money by running computer equipment and I gave it a shot," Dixon said.
In the somewhat mysterious digital currency, Bitcoin miners, like Dixon, use special software to solve math problems and are issued a certain number of Bitcoins in exchange.
With paper money, a government decides when to print and distribute the money. Because Bitcoin doesn't have a central government, miners can essentially mint the currency themselves.
"It's just having computer equipment dedicated to securing transactions, basically," Dixon said.
Currently, a single Bitcoin is worth between $100-$500; the value is fluctuating wildly.
A rush of investors in December pushed the currency to $1,000.
While a small number of retailers nationwide accept cryptorcurrency, Dixon sees his Bitcoins as an investment.
"Merchants will be able to save money doing it," Dixon said. "It will be easier for people to make transactions when they purchase things because I think Bitcoin is infinitely easier than credit cards in my opinion."
And for Dixon, the future of cryptocurrency could revolutionize the future of the global economy.
This week, Dixon started a Bitcoin community Facebook page to get people in South Dakota talking together about cryptocurrency.