November 17, Bitcoin — created by high-speed electronics, stored on encrypted digital wallets, exchanged through computers and seeking dollar-like status — enjoys other elements of an emerging ecosystem here. A website that maps bitcoin-friendly locations plots more restaurants and merchants ready to accept bitcoin around Kansas City than in all but three other U.

And one Kansas City law firm has made a business of helping entrepreneurs tackle bitcoin questions, including whether their ideas are legal. Nor has bitcoin reached the street here, the way it has in California. It carries no government backing the way the United States backs the dollar, Japan backs the yen and European countries back the euro.

Still, a currency can be anything people agree on as a medium of exchange, even seashells. Virtual money appeals to many as a way to limit government involvement in private transactions. Many worry about the temptation of governments to devalue national currencies in the name of economic policies.

Efforts to further identify him, or them, have failed. So far, nearly Bitcoin, however, was set up so that only 21 million of them ever could be found. Furthermore, it would take until — or another years — to mine the last one. To make the remaining supply last that long, the puzzle becomes increasingly complex, and future blocks hold fewer bitcoins. Advocates say this is why bitcoin is bound to hold value. Brown explained what he was doing, and the crew saw the array of bitcoin mining machines in his basement.

They also run hot. An infrared thermometer recorded temperatures of degrees and higher on equipment Brown now uses.

Stack a bunch of these in a basement and the air conditioning works overtime, too, driving electric bills even higher. The machines also are loud, which Brown demonstrated by shouting over the din of miners running behind him in this video.

Welcome to Reddit,

Just one more reason serious miners end up moving to a commercial site. Good machines can be hard to come by as no major company has gotten into the business of making them.

Butterfly Labs, the Overland Park company fighting the FTC in court, became widely known in the bitcoin community for the mining machines it sold. The company began to face increasing complaints when it was late shipping, or failed to ship, the newest generations of its mining equipment, which customers had paid for in advance.

Because of the increasing difficulty in finding bitcoins, most miners are joining together in mining pools. They share their efforts and collective bitcoin earnings.