NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It looks like a typical ATM, but it isn’t.
When customers put in cash, they get bitcoin in return.
It’s a digital form of money or ‘cryptocurrency’ that more and more people like Adam Badrawi are buying into.
“My parents are a little bit in it now. I’m working on my grandparents. I just got a message from my cousin on it on instagram to brief her because she wants to get in on it,” he told CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez.
Early in the week Bitcoin’s value reached an all time high, topping $11,000 on Wednesday, but had dipped under $10,000 by Thursday morning.
Badrawi said he’s made a $172 profit in a week.
“For me I got excited because I think that it means that people are going to start taking note of bitcoin,” he said.
“Bitcoin is not just a currency, but it does currency better than anything else,” Nick Spanos said.
Bitcoin proponents, like Spanos of Bitcoin Center New York City, believes cryptocurrency will one day be the norm.
Many restaurants and other businesses are now accepting bitcoin for payment.
The cryptocurrency is not connected to any country or bank, and is purchased and sold person to person.
It’s not regulated by the government, but Washington is closely monitoring its growth.
“This is an issue that Tom Bosser with the Department of Homeland Security team, an advisor to the president has brought this up in a meeting earlier this week. I know it’s something he’s keeping an eye on,” Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.
Fordham University Economist Giacomo Santangelo said don’t rush to chomp on Bitcoin.
“The market for bitcoin isn’t really being driven by investment, it’s being driven by speculation. It’s not a good investment if it’s not going to hold it’s value tomorrow,” he said.
Investors like Badrawi said Bitcoin is like the lottery, you have to be willing to take a risk.
“Now we have a different type of ledger system that’s based on trust, that’s based on consensus of the community, not on a bank, not on the government,” he said.