Cryptocurrency. Many people have heard of it, but have no idea what it is.
What I learned today is that the technology behind it is complex. Itâ€™s most known for its use as digital money.
“People around the world are using it for transactions to purchase goods and services,” said DeSales University economics professor Tahareh Hojjat.
Real money, as in cold hard cash, can be put in a bank, but with cryptocurrencyÂ “when you buy cryptocurrencies, you become your own bank and the things they do that we donâ€™t think about, is they protect our assets,” said Lehigh University finance professor Donald Bowen.
Hackers have stolen thousands, even millions, of dollars from investors in the past.
Just this week, Venmo announced its 70 million customers can now buy three different cryptos - bitcoin, ethereum, and litecoin for as little as $1.
Itâ€™ll even offer in-app guides for investors.
“Itâ€™s very easy. I download PayPal and through PayPal, you can buy and sell bitcoin. Itâ€™s not difficult,” Hojjat said.
But be prepared.
“Like all new technologies, thereâ€™s going to be a period of time where weâ€™re figuring out how to use the technologies so some cryptocurrencies, weâ€™re going to find out, are worthless and some might become very valuable,” Bowen said.
As crypto creeps closer toward mainstream acceptance, do your research and assess your individual risk.
Bowen says overall, now might not be the time to dive in head first.
“I donâ€™t think investing in cryptocurrency is the right thing for most people at this time,” Bowen said.