GLADES COUNTY, Fla. - WINK News investigates Bitcoin mining. Jesse Korff allegedly asked for Bitcoin as payment for his poison.
Anyone can get the unregulated currency if their computer is fast enough. And that paves the way for a dangerous black market, often times, untraceable.
You store Bitcoin in a computer a phone, or a thumbdrive. Mining for Bitcoin is not illegal. But the FBI says it's often used in the black market because it cant be taxed and often cant be tracked.
The FBI says cyber criminals use Bitcoin to move money and remain anonymous. Because of this, it's often used in underground websites. According to a criminal complaint, like the one Jesse Korff used, Black Market Reloaded, to peddle his poison.
"Korff's message included a Bitcoin address so that the (undercover agent) could transfer the equivalent of $2,000 in Bitcoin to Korff for each dosage of the abrin," stated the Korff Criminal Complaint.
"Bitcoin essentially, it's a decentralized currency that doesn't have any government or agency backing it," explained Joshua Livingston, with All Star Tech Support, in Cape Coral.
He says you obtain the virtual currency by purchasing already existing Bitcoin online. You can also allow a network to use a high powered computer to solve a math problem: thats called 'mining" for Bitcoin.
"It basically does a whole bunch of calculations to try to figure out where that address is located," Livingston said.
You can then keep it, hoping it goes up in value, or you can use it to buy things. For example... starting in March - Sacramento Kings tickets. Some Las Vegas casinos announced Wednesdaythey'd accept Bitcoin.
Bitcoins are transferred from person to person without going through a bank. Because of this, they cant be tracked and are often untraceable.
There are only 21 million bitcoins in the entire world, so the more people try to get them, the more their value increases.