NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Bitcoin is the first decentralized digital currency and worldwide payment system and while there are others to choose from, many are still scratching their heads to the entire idea.
Bitcoin is a type of digital currency known as cryptocurrency that has no real physical coin or cash associated with it, eliminating banks. But there’s still a lot of mystery surrounding cryptocurrency.READ MORE: Federal Arrest Warrant Issued For Gabby Petito's Missing Fiancé Brian Laundrie
“What decentralized currency does, is it actually eliminates the middle man and instead there’s a record of every transaction that’s ever been made everywhere and it’s all public and, that by the way, is known as the block chain,” Jeffrey Levine, CEO of Blueprint Wealth Alliance, told CBS2’s Alex Denis.
The block chain technology tracks and validates each coin’s value making transactions as easy as swiping a credit card.
So, how is cryptocurrency valued? Basically, it’s only worth what someone else will pay.
“If you go back to 2010, Bitcoin was worth a lot less money. Someone actually bought two pizzas for 10,000 Bitcoins,” said Levine. “Today, that would be about $150 million — buys a lot of pizzas.”READ MORE: 'I Can't Take This Anymore': Heavy Rain In Tri-State Area Renews Flooding Concerns For Many Still Dealing With Damage From Ida
You can store digital currency in an online wallet on a USB drive or a computer, but keep track of it. Supports say it’s no different than misplaced cash.
But the big question: Is cryptocurrency the way of the future?
“I think that the underlying technology, the block chain, is here to stay,” said Levine. “What I think is the more challenging question is knowing which of these coins that is actually going to be the one to take us into the future.”
And is it a risky investment?
“That’s what everyone wants to know, should I invest in this? The first question you have to ask yourself is, ‘am I OK with losing every dollar I’m putting into this investment?'” Levine said. “It tends to swing in large degrees in either direction.”MORE NEWS: 1 Killed, 13 Injured In Shooting At Kroger In Collierville, Tennessee
And while some have made millions, others have lost a lot. Bitcoin touched a peak of almost $20,000 in December and today’s value is about half of that at $10,600.