Jesse Angle, Chris Kantola, and Paul Harrison were jobless and homeless for much of the past year, but thanks in part to Bitcoin — the world’s most popular digital currency — they never went without food.
Between April and September, while living on the streets of Pensacola, Florida, they used their laptops and smartphones to collect a total of about four or five bitcoins. Some of it arrived through donations. Some of it came from rather unsophisticated online services that dole out tiny fractions of the digital currency if you spend some time looking at videos and ads. And over the course of the summer, this free money bought them a pretty steady supply of pizza and chicken tenders.
Today, after finding a house they can rent with a little help from the government, the trio is off the streets, and life is even better than it was before — except that a bitcoin is now worth over $1,000. “The $600 we spent would now be worth $6,000,” says Angle. “I wish we had gone hungry.”