Bitcoin got an unexpected endorsement this week - federal authorities signaled they view the digital currency as a legal means of exchange and legitimate payment alternative.
But this is still a substantial increase over the $120 they were worth last April, or the $11 I bought them for back in 2012.
Too bad I didn't buy more.
Even with a tempered thumbs up from regulators, bitcoins still have a number of problems.
The major one is their value fluctuates so wildly they are more of speculative investment than a currency. As Yahoo points out, this undermines its use as a traditional store of value. And because they are so useful in law avoidance, they will get more than their share of interest from the authorities.
Despite the drawbacks, bitcoins are by far the most popular alternative currency and at current prices there is more than $8 billion in circulation around the world.
Even with the sudden surge in price and interest, our advice to small businesses remains the same as when we wrote about bitcoins last April - unless your customer base is made up of tech nerds or folks looking to evade the law, ignore the hype around bitcoins for now.
Too few normal people know about them or use them to bother with at this time.