TYLER, Texas (KLTV) – Bitcoin. You’ve probably heard of it. You can buy it and spend it, but you can’t hold or touch it.
So, what is it?
It’s a cryptocurrency, and it’s not the only one.
“There’s like Etherium, Litecoin– [those] are some of the older ones,” says Cate Carrejo, a cryptocurrency investor. “Then there’s newer ones that people are hearing about maybe on the news or social media lately, like Dogecoin.”
Carrejo explains that cryptocurrency is information that people have placed a value on.
“So rather than physical goods coins and bills, we’ve placed value on these bits of information that can get traded around the internet,” she says.
But, taking something of value and trading it is nothing new. Nancy Carter, Lead Economic Professor at Tyler Junior College, says that buying and selling a cryptocurrency, like Bitcoin, resembles buying and selling stocks.
“There’s a bit or a correlation. Some of the correlation is that they’re somewhat similar. And for some [people], they’ve decided that putting their money in bitcoin is going to be more profitable than stocks,” she says.
But, unlike stocks, cryptocurrency is not backed by any government, and it is not monitored by any government.
So, you can trade cryptocurrency, but what else? There are some companies, like Starbucks and Microsoft, that are beginning to accept cryptopayments through third party providers.
But, if you are looking to get into the cryptocurrency craze, Carter gives a word of advice.
“You gotta be able to pay your bills. You gotta be able to eat. You want to be able to have a little fun in life, so don’t put everything in the stock market, Don’t put everything in cryptocurrency.”
Carrejo also recommends subscribing to a newsletter, like CoinDesk, to learn more about financial technology
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