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  • Thurston County ARC Agreement Now Official

    arc signing1A formal signing of the ARC ‘Letter of Intent’ took place Friday at the Accountability and Resource Center (ARC) with Thurston County Commissioners and Sheriff John Snaza. The agreement clears the way for the Thurston jail to open.… Read More +

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  • Lawmakers Celebrate Hawks Ahead Of Super Bowl

    Hawkington2The Washington state Senate passed a resolution honoring the Seattle Seahawks as they prepare to play the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLIX. The resolution was passed Friday, and many lawmakers on the floor were wearing Seahawks jerseys,… Read More +

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  • Baker Signed To Minor-League Deal

    marinersSThe Seattle Mariners have signed catcher John Baker to a minor-league deal with an invite to spring training. The Mariners announced the signing Thursday after Baker's physical. He is expected to compete with Jesus Sucre for the backup job playing behind starter Mike Zunino.

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Investment Trust Lets Investors Own Bitcoins Indirectly

b_250_0_16777215_00_images_obgrabber_2013-09_0c0abf15a3.jpgLuis M Molina/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- If you ever thought of buying a bitcoin -- the electronic currency launched in 2009 -- but had no idea how, there's a new option, that is, if you're willing to own it indirectly. It's called the Bitcoin Investment Trust, or BIT. And it's the first ever U.S.-based private fund that lets investors own bitcoin, without directly purchasing it.

SecondMarket, a registered broker-dealer that currently facilitates trade of private company stocks, is raising the capital and managing the Trust.

The BIT works a lot like the SPDR Gold Trust ETF, or GLD. It's open-ended, private and exclusively invests in bitcoin and gets its value solely from the price of bitcoin. You buy shares of BIT from SecondMarket, and SecondMarket buys the bitcoin.

Until now, getting anywhere near a bitcoin was a tricky proposition, primarily because the two biggest bitcoin exchanges are outside the U.S. and unregulated.

"We incubated the BIT to alleviate the problems of direct bitcoin ownership, including having to wire money to newly established and potentially unregulated entities around the world," says SecondMarket Founder and CEO Barry Silbert.

Some liken buying bitcoin to putting seed capital into a startup -- it's risky, and there's a chance you'll lose your principal. But there's also a chance you'll make money. Since bitcoin started in 2009, it's been a volatile investment. There have been 24 million bitcoin transactions, and 10,000 vendors accept it. Only a finite number of bitcoins have ever been created, so some see it as a hedge against fiat currencies, which lose value with inflation. They see it as a store of value, and something that could disrupt e-commerce and the way we transact.

Because of the risk, who can own BIT is limited by the SEC to institutional and qualified investors, people making more than $200,000 a year for at least two years, or whose net worth exceeds $1 million. And if you do buy into BIT, you'll have to keep your money there at least through year's end. SecondMarket says it plans to start weekly auctions, giving investors the opportunity to sell, in 2014. SecondMarket is also putting $2 million of its own capital into BIT.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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