As an early adopter of cryptocurrencies myself, I am often asked about them and if it’s a scam. As Realtors, it’s more important now than ever to understand what it is. Bitcoin took a wild ride in 2017, reaching record highs at almost $20,000 and then plummeting below $10,000.
The cryptocurrency isn’t just seen as a risky investment, it’s steadily becoming an alternative method of paying for common things. While Bitcoin, created in 2009, was the first decentralized cryptocurrency, others include Ethereum, Ripple, IOTA, Litecoin. Over 100,000 merchants worldwide accept bitcoin, including Microsoft and Expedia; be on the lookout for even more Bitcoin ATM’s in your neighborhood. We will be seeing even more real estate transactions purchased and sold with bitcoins in the near future as well.
Is it a scam? While it may not be exactly tangible like cash, Bitcoin is a legitimate technology. The question that remains is how useful and valuable it will continue to become.
What exactly is Bitcoin? In the most general sense, bitcoin is software that forms a decentralized, peer-to-peer payment system with no central authority.
What is Blockchain? Bitcoin runs on what is called “blockchain”, which is a software system described as an immutable digital “ledger.” Blockchain as a technology has become popular among central banks and other big financial institutions.
Is it a stock? One of the most common stocks traded on the stock exchange is GBTC, Bitcoin Investment Trust. While the SEC seems to have temporarily closed the door on approving future ETFs, momentum supporting blockchain is so strong that investors are already looking for ways around the SEC’s objections. There are already bitcoin ETNs overseas.
Buyer’s Agent – Halton Pardee and Partners