Finally! A primer on cryptocurrency (Bitcoin) you will actually get, promise

What the heck is Bitcoin? 

Here's an explainer from CBC's @SarahSmellie

  • Scott Stevenson was pretty uneasy the first time be bought Bitcoin.
  • Think of it as digital cash – in a sense, Stevenson was right to call it “computer cash” or “internet money.”
  • Bitcoin value changes when a new coin is “released” into the network.
  • People tend to be attracted to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency systems like Ethereum because there is no central regulator.
  • Most people with regular jobs, said Stevenson, aren’t going to have the time (or the nerves) to check in on the coin market multiple times a day.

How it is and isn’t like regular currency, and what to consider if you’re thinking of investing.

Scott Stevenson was pretty uneasy the first time be bought Bitcoin.

“I thought I’d be shooting myself in the foot a week later for wasting money on computer cash, internet money,” he said, laughing.

But two years later, he’s a believer. In fact, he’s now an architect in a cryptocurrency system, programming peer-to-peer contracts that are paid with digital cash. So we went to him for a primer on cryptocurrencies — what they are and what someone might want to consider before dipping a toe in.

He’s in for the money, but he also sees cryptocurrencies changing the way we live and the way do business. “It’s about a lot more than just Bitcoin for me,” he said. “I have great faith in the technology, long term.”

What the heck is this stuff?

For those still baffled by what cryptocurrency actually is, you are not alone. Think of it as digital cash – in a sense, Stevenson was right to call it “computer cash” or “internet money.” It’s a peer to peer currency, with no central authorities like banks or governments controlling or regulating it. Its value is determined by how many people are buying it and using it, and how many new coins are in circulation.

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Finally! A primer on cryptocurrency (Bitcoin) you will actually get, promise