It"s 6pm on a- Saturday- night and around 100 people - mainly young men - are gathering at a humble Adelaide bowls club for a cryptocurrency "meet-up."
They"re very casually dressed and appear to be your average middle-income Australians, but a glance towards the car park will tell you that many of them are anything but.
25-year-old Kane Ellis has arrived in a bright yellow luxury Maserati, which he purchased from a Sydney dealership for a cool $200,000.
He"d decided it was time to reward himself for years of holding the world"s hottest commodity.
Bitcoin was developed in 2008 by a mystery man who called himself -lsquo;Satoshi Nakamoto.-rsquo;
Whether that is his real name is unclear.
The fact he has never come forward and revealed his true identity is perhaps surprising, because the technology he developed is considered -ldquo;genius-rdquo; by some of the smartest minds in the world.
Mark Pesce, an American-Australian author, researcher, entrepreneur and cryptocurrency expert, told an Australian Senate hearing in 2014 that Bitcoin was a "fundamental breakthrough in computer science."
Richard Branson, the forward-thinking owner of Virgin Airlines, has been keeping his eye on Bitcoin for several years and he likes what he sees.
-ldquo;I think it is working,-rdquo; he told Bloomberg News.
-ldquo;There will be other currencies like it that may be even better, but in the meantime there"s a big industry around Bitcoin.-rdquo;
When Bitcoin was first created 10 years ago, you could buy a coin for just one Australian cent.
Since then the price has been extremely volatile, but overall, has maintained an extraordinary upward trajectory.
At the time of writing this article, it was at $17,000.
It means a $10 investment then would be worth $17,000,000 today.
How does it work?
At the most basic level, Bitcoin can be described as a digital currency that can be sent peer to peer, without the need for a third party (like a bank).
The system was designed so that only 21 million Bitcoins will ever exist and it is claimed they cannot be forged or hacked.
The fact there is a limited supply means that the value should increase over time if they continue to be bought.
This is different to traditional, government issued currency, which has historically increased in supply with time, leading to inflation.
What makes Bitcoin so unique is its underlying "blockchain" technology, which allows money (and information) to be sent over the Internet without being hacked or copied.
Jamie Skella, a key figure in Australia-rsquo;s blockchain industry through his project Horizon State (more on that later), describes the blockchain as -ldquo;a- shared record book.-rdquo;
-ldquo;Each addition to this record book is a new- line item,-rdquo; he said in a LinkedIn post.
-ldquo;This isn"t just one record book stored in a central location that is shared by many.
-ldquo;There are thousands of copies of this record book, stored on computers all around the world, both home computers and business servers - hence the term "decentralised".-
-ldquo;This record book can be used to record many kinds of things, however I"ll use sending and receiving money as the primary example, as it"s the most common one right now.
-rdquo;When John wants to send money to Sue, a new line item is created detailing that transaction.
-ldquo;This line item then gets sent off to hundreds of other computers who have a copy of the record.
-lsquo;Those computers confirm that this transaction is authorised, and ultimately they agree (or disagree) that everything about the transaction is legitimate before giving that line item a tick of approval.
-ldquo;It has to match up perfectly on every copy of the record.
-ldquo;It"s as if John and Sue had a few hundred mates stand around them and watched John hand Sue the money in question, and they all agreed that he really did hand her the money, as well a other aspects of the transaction, such as it being the right amount.
-ldquo;The genius of this shared record book is that it requires no bank, no centrally owned company, and you don"t have to place your trust in any financial institution... there doesn"t need to be any middleman of any kind.-rdquo;
Alternative Coins and Tokens (Altcoins)
Since the creation of Bitcoin, there has been more than a thousand other cryptocurrencies hit the market.
Alex Saunders explains that cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are now only one aspect of what Blockchain technology can do.
"We"ve got companies and projects breaking into all different industries that are not competing as that bitcoin digital money," he said.
Perth company PowerLedger uses the blockchain to allow renewable energy to be sold between buyers and sellers without a third party.
Australian Jamie Skella (mentioned earlier) has created Horizon State; a blockchain system which promises a -ldquo;secure, anonymous, convenient and affordable voting platform.-rdquo;
He said it is essentially a -ldquo;digital ballot box that can be used to conduct sensitive votes quickly, cheaply and securely.-rdquo;
Mr Saunders is a supporter of both of those projects, but when asked about the hundreds of others, he conceded, -ldquo;there are too many now.-rdquo;
-ldquo;I"d say that 90 per cent of those will definitely fail.
-ldquo;You-rsquo;ve got to be very selective and educate yourself about which ones will do well.
"Just like the dot come bubble, a lot of the bad companies will fall by the wayside, but the good ones are going to be here to stay for the next five or 10 years."
Mark Pesce said that before cryptocurrencies, there were already a lot of currencies that people don"t think about.
"Loyalty points, frequent flier points. There are already a lot of currencies that get created by businesses for things," he said.
"The bottom has just dropped out of that because it is now really easy for everyone to create currencies for whatever they want and that"s where I see the future getting really weird and interesting because they"re going to start showing up in places that we haven"t seen them yet."
When Kane Ellis arrived at his cryptocurrency meet up in Adelaide in a Maserati, others in the group would not have blinked an eyelid.
Many of them have also been long-term investors in Bitcoin and have also made a fortune.
Alex Saunders, who organised the event for the followers of his Facebook Page "Nugget"s Crypto Academy," first entered the market in 2013.
"I was always into computers, maths and science and then cryptocurrency came along," Mr Saunders said.
"I was pretty sure that this was going to catch on and be a big thing."
"I"ve done extremely well, but obviously I don"t like to disclose exactly how much money I"ve made," Mr Saunders said with a smile.
Retiree Terry Proud shifted a portion of his superannuation into Cryptocurrencies six months ago and said he can"t wipe the smile off his face.
"So far it"s risen 500 per cent," Mr Proud said.
Kane Ellis bought his Maserati after selling some of his Bitcoin, which he bought for just $1.60 in 2010.
"In 2011 or so I cashed out 2-4 Bitcoins for a McDonald"s meal," he said.
That burger, fries and coke ultimately cost Mr Ellis around $80,000.
So how long will the frenzy last? Well that depends who you ask.
Professor Steve Worthington from Melbourne"s Swinburne University of Technology believes Bitcoin "is a bubble that is going to burst eventually."
"Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it," he said.
"Those who understand are doomed to watch others make the same mistakes."
Prof. Worthington is referring to the long list of speculative bubbles that have emerged throughout the course of human history.
In the Netherlands in the 17th century, "Tulip Mania" sent many investors bankrupt.
Speculation saw the price of Tulip Bulbs rise so sharply, they became as expensive as houses, and ultimately, the market crashed dramatically.
"Even the RBA (Reserve Bank of Australia) calls Bitcoin a speculative mania," Prof. Worthington said.
"These Cryptocurrencies are a bit like a pyramid scheme, where the early investors get out at the top but the latecomers get in at the top and get out at the bottom.
"People are scared they"ll miss out. They"re piling into it and I don"t think they understand what they"re getting into."
Mark Pesce, while an admirer of the Bitcoin concept, also believes the cryptocurrency market is in a bubble.
"There"s this whole speculative frenzy that"s popped up around this," he said.
"This could possibly be the biggest bubble in human history, because the way cryptocurrencies work is there are no national boundaries here.
"So while you might have had property bubbles inside of a country, or a stock market bubble inside of a country, we now have cryptocurrencies which don"t have any national boundaries.
"A lot of money globally can flow into them and you see the Chinese, you see the South Koreans, you see the Americans trying to do things to limit the flows, but the problem with cryptocurrencies is it"s really hard to control those flows.
"There"s a capacity for this bubble to get much bigger than it is now (and) that"s a danger because if that happens all of that wealth evaporates."
That is the concern of world famous Billionaire Warren Buffett, who is definitely not a fan of Bitcoin.
-ldquo;I can say almost with certainty that cryptocurrencies will come to a bad end,-rdquo; he recently told- America-rsquo;s CNBC.
But if you ask Bitcoin believers, they-rsquo;ll tell you the Bitcoin price is not in a bubble and will go much higher.
Alex Saunders has stated that he believes the price could reach $100,000USD in the next few years.
"Wall Street and investment funds are yet to take a seat at the table so I think there"s a big wave of money coming in 2018," he said.
A New Industry
With so much money flooding into cryptocurrencies, Alex Saunders is among a growing number of Australians who are working full time in the space.
The 30-year-old has now quit his job as a pharmacist to help people navigate the emerging industry with his online videos and social media channels.
"My fianc-eacute; was a little bit nervous with our wedding coming up," he said.
"Qutting your job to do YouTube videos is a little bit controversial in our household!"
But it has paid off.
He"s now so busy he"s hired a small team of employees, which includes his mates Ben Simpson and James Fowler.
"I certainly work more hors than I used to in an office, but it"s much more fulfilling and we"re definitely enjoying the ride," Mr Fowler said.
It"s a ride that"s likely to be exciting, but very bumpy.
"It does go up and down. There have been volatile pullbacks every year I"ve been involved," he said.
"So, yeah, don"t put all of your money in at once.
"Take the time to learn about the technology."