Bitcoin is a "digital currency" not tied to any government or bank. I wrote about Bitcoin way back in #28 ("Bitcoin Buyer") and #30 ("Bitcoin Remorse"). It's an interesting idea but I'd never bought any until today.
I bought 0.0232339 BTC (Bitcoins) for 10,000 South Korean Won, cash, via a Bitcoin ATM machine. One Bitcoin (1.00 BTC) was being sold for 430,000 Korean Won (USD $384) at the time of my transaction. This is up from $60 in April 2013.
My two-hundredeths-and-some of a Bitcoin were uploaded to my newly-created virtual Bitcoin account on the Internet, accessible via phone or computer.
The occasion for my purchase was a meeting by Bitcoin enthusiasts in Seoul. I was invited by my friend N.R. from California. It was a small group, a mix (by my impression) of "tech-oriented" Western expatriates conceptually fascinated by Bitcoin, and crafty Koreans looking for a business opportunity.
Unexpectedly to me, two young, garrulous Iranians were present, with whom I spoke a lot. One is trying to establish Bitcoin in Iran. He helped me set up my account.
The nearby cafe accepted Bitcoin payments so was a natural testing ground for my new Bitcoins.