By Richard Mejia / Staff Writer

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With the always-trending innovations in technology, only a few creations have the ability to alter the everyday life of all people and on the cusp of that life-changing ability is the emerging digital currency known as bitcoin.

 Bitcoin is the first decentralized digital currency that allows people who use it to make purchases and enter contracts with their programmable money. The innovation has sparked minds all over the world, but in particular, in Long Beach.

LBCC communications major and entrepreneur Jose Sandoval, 22, has taken the initiative to invest in bitcoin and to help others thrive in it.

Sandoval created his own small business, The BitPros, with the goal of having all small businesses in Long Beach accept bitcoin as a form of payment.

Sandoval said, “Bitcoin is sometimes too technical for many businesses and people interested in getting involved in it. I thought it would be a great opportunity to make a name for ourselves and also educate businesses on the benefits of bitcoin.”

Through The BitPros, Sandoval will assist businesses to set up their virtual accounts and educate the staff on how to operate the required software to accept and maintain bitcoin. In addition, he also plans to help businesses spread the word of their new accepted form of payment through social media and other forms of advertising.

For the past few months Sandoval has spent countless hours visiting small businesses across the city, pitching his vision and attempting to convince them that accepting bitcoin will prove beneficial to their establishments.

In addressing the technical and practical bitcoin needs of small businesses, Sandoval aims to enlighten the City of Long Beach in what seems to be the next great technological advancement. “The widespread adoption of bitcoin won’t just prove to be great for the individual businesses, but it’ll bring Long Beach to a step closer to the next digital age.”

Criminal justice major Alfredo Castaneda, 23, said “It’s great that he had the motivation to go through his plan and decide to work and invest in something he truly believes in.”

In his highly motivated and ambitious efforts, Sandoval is out to prove that the time for the small businesses of Long Beach to advance their technological efforts is now.  Sandoval said, “I envision Long Beach being a pioneer in bitcoin because of the many small business owners in the area. They could all use some extra profits not having to spend (money) on ridiculous credit card fees.”

Even though the fall of former bitcoin exchange company Mt. Gox has led to a fall in bitcoin prices and has stirred up much controversy, Sandoval is still optimistic. As he said, “In spite of the Mt. Gox collapse, bitcoin will continue to thrive in the free market. People wouldn’t stop using the Internet if Yahoo goes down.”

For more information regarding The BitPros and Sandoval’s bitcoin ventures, feel free to visit thebitpros.com.