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The hidden Bitcoin economy of Florida's 'homeless geeks'

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For most, a life on Bitcoin is a short experiment. For some of Pensacola, Florida's homeless, though, the currency has become a lifeline, making up the gap that low-paying or intermittent jobs and public assistance can't fill. Wired profiles the men and women who have developed an alternative virtual economy, raising charity money through Bitcoin and making small amounts of money through Mechanical Turk-like jobs that pay in Bitcoin rather than requiring a bank account. Though Bitcoin still isn't widely accepted, services like Gyft can turn the currency into gift cards for food or other necessities, and mobile phones and computers are affordable even for some people who can't make a monthly rent payment. Jesse Angle, who earns money by completing simple online tasks for Bitcoin, says the system is less risky and embarrassing than panhandling. He and his friends, he says, are "kind of the homeless geeks."