Increasing Number of People, Firms Using Bitcoin Despite Volatility

Not just popular among hackers and anarchists


NEW YORK — Donald Duhaney brought a wallet full of cash to a Whole Foods in Manhattan's trendy Lower East Side one recent evening. But he wasn't in search of kale, quinoa or cage-free eggs.

Duhaney, 37, was in the market for bitcoins, the hot digital currency that has caught the eye of entrepreneurs and regulators. So he ventured to a pair of couches on the supermarket's second floor, next to the Jamba Juice, where enthusiasts meet weekly to buy, sell and talk bitcoins.

He quickly found a seller: a quiet young man in a trench coat lounging in a green armchair. Along with a friend who trades so-called crypto currencies, the two used their iPhones to check bitcoin's going price — then about $830 on a leading online exchange.