Melia Robinson/Business Insider
In the brightly lit kitchen of the Crypto Castle, a three-story home in San Francisco’s Potrero Hill neighborhood, young tech workers drink from Solo Cups and wax poetic about bitcoin.
“I don’t think you can be in this house for two hours without being evangelized,” said Jeremy Gardner, a resident and seasoned entrepreneur working on bitcoin technologies.
His roommate, Viviane Ford, perks up. With eyes wide, she says she bought bitcoins within a week of moving in, calling it “the best investment I’ve ever made.”
Bitcoin is a new kind of payment system in which people use digital currency, also called bitcoin, to buy things and send money. There are no banks. Transactions are recorded on a digital ledger called a blockchain, which allows users to stay anonymous.
Some folks buy bitcoins in the hopes that they’ll go up in value. On January 2, Bitcoin reached a three-year high after its value passed $1,000, up about 140% from the beginning of 2016. Still, the currency has yet to catch on widely. The software is complicated, the risk of being hacked is great, and it’s not popular enough to be practical.
But as I learned on a recent visit to the Crypto Castle, where roughly a dozen cryptocurrency entrepreneurs have called home since its founding in 2015, it’s hard not to get excited about bitcoin when you’re among its biggest fans.
Here’s what it’s like to eat, sleep, drink, and work at the Crypto Castle.