A reporter spent 10 bitcoins on a sushi lunch for dozens of strangers in 2013. Those coins are worth $ 230,000 today. | Currency News Financial and Business News

friends eating sushi
  • A technology reporter lived on bitcoins for a week straight to prove how valuable they were in the real world.
  • He bought a bunch of bitcoins in 2013 for $ 136 each on Coinbase, hoping to use them for daily expenses.
  • On the last night of his experiment, he spent 10 bitcoin on a sushi lunch for dozens of strangers. Today those would be worth about $ 230,000.
  • The restaurant owner is now retired from the food business, thanks in part to his cryptocurrency earnings of 41 bitcoins, or $ 902,000 today.
  • Visit the Business Insider homepage for more stories.

Kashmir Hill, a technology reporter at The New York Times, lived on bitcoins for a week straight as an experiment.

She detailed her memorable experience in a piece for The New York Times.

In 2013, Hill was particularly interested in the 4-year-old cryptocurrency at the time, as her work focused primarily on technology and data privacy. Tech junkies were excited about bitcoins back then, so they decided to explore its real world value by experiencing what it would be like to live on the currency for a few days.

Hill bought some bitcoins for $ 136 each on the cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, hoping to find ways he could use his new “money”.

Although she lives in San Francisco, a hot spot for start-ups and companies, she had few options to spend any cryptocurrency. During that week, she lost 5 lbs simply because she was tight on food and transportation options. She was also “consistently caffeine deprived” because no coffee seller seemed to accept bitcoins.

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Hill decided to celebrate the final night of his experiment by hosting a dinner for at least 15 strangers at a sushi restaurant called Sake Zone – one of the few places that received the ticket. He sent an open invitation on the social networking site Meetup and to the bitcoin community on Reddit. To her surprise, more than 60 people attended the event.

He described the attendees as “a wild cast of characters.” Economists, entrepreneurs who created bitcoin apps and games, and two of the founders of the arts event Burning Man were all in the crowd.

The lunch bill brought out a staggering $ 957, which he paid for in 10 bitcoins.

“I felt guilty at the time, making Yung Chen receive $ 1,000 worth of funny money, because it was unclear to me whether Bitcoin should be worth anything at all,” Hill said, referring to the owner of the restaurant.

From 2020, the restaurant owner and his wife had retired from the food business. That may be partly due to their cryptocurrency earnings. They hold about 41 bitcoin in total, or $ 902,000 today.

Bitcoin has had a wild ride this year, reaching record highs twice in the past month. The digital asset was trading at approximately $ 23,235 on Thursday.

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