NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — If you’ve seen the news about Bitcoin lately, you’re probably wondering whether it’s a scam, a craze or if it’s here to stay.

The answer may be a bit of each, but Bitcoin is increasingly finding its way into everyday life, reports CBS2’s cyber security expert Siobhan Gorman.

So what is Bitcoin? It’s is a digital currency, often called a cryptocurrency, that can be used like other assets to purchase goods and services.

The term cryptocurrency can sound suspicious, but it just means the currency has additional security that makes it hard to counterfeit.

Bitcoin runs on a technology called blockchain, which stores records of each Bitcoin transaction on a distributed network, or ledger system, that makes it very tough to hack.

Businesses that accept Bitcoin include Microsoft and Overstock.com. You can even purchase groceries at Whole Foods with a gift card purchased in Bitcoin from a company called Gyft.

If you buy Bitcoin, or any cryptocurrency, you do need to make sure that you’re doing it safely. You can store it on a physical device, like a USB drive, so it can’t be swiped online.

And if you store your Bitcoin in an online wallet, make sure you take security precautions like strong passwords and two-factor authentication, which requires two forms of verification to access your account.

It’s OK to try out cryptocurrency if you’re careful but make sure to take the same online security precautions as you would for other types of digital accounts.

Comments

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s