Coinbase

The Next Big Thing You Missed: There’s a Sure-Fire Way to Control the Price of Bitcoin

(Wired) Coinbase now handles Bitcoin transactions for more than 19,000 businesses and 750,000 individuals.

The tiny San Francisco startup offers various online services that help move the digital currency from place to place. At online retailer Overstock.com, for instance, Coinbase helps people buy stuff like patio furniture and smartphone cases using bitcoin. It lets online advertising outfit eZanga pay its partners in bitcoins. And it provides a service that lets people and businesses buy and sell the digital currency.

As a result, Coinbase holds an awful lot of Bitcoin in its own digital wallets. That’s just part of efficiently moving the currency to and fro — and at this point, it’s a rather risky thing. As the world struggles to come to terms with this very new creation, the value of the digital currency is extremely volatile, with prices shifting as much as 25 percent in a matter of minutes.