Investigations Inc. | Crime & Punishment

Behind bitcoin: An avid group tries to spread word

Betting on bitcoin

The Monday night meetings at New York City's Bitcoin Center hardly seem the stuff of a revolution.

Wielding smartphones and computers, the mostly male, mostly under-30 revolutionaries stand in the middle of a cavernous space in the shadow of the New York Stock Exchange. Their mission is to spread the gospel of bitcoin, which they believe has the power to upend the global financial system.

"There are an increasing number of people who recognize the potential of the platform," said Miles Cowan, a former lawyer and a recent convert to the bitcoin movement.

The platform is the brainchild of an unknown person or group called Satoshi Nakamoto. In the last year, bitcoin has grabbed headlines as much for the meteoric rise in its price as for its link to the shadowy underworld of cybercrime.