(WWLP) – Cryptocurrency has been all the rage on Wall Street, ever since bitcoin really took off three years ago.
But what is it, and why are so many investors interested?
“It’s this digital currency that has a lot of people in the world saying, this is the next greatest thing that’s going to happen,” said Mark Teed, Vice President of Raymond James.
Bitcoin and other “cryptos” are completely digital, acting as block-chain databases that store transactions. They’re even more popular now on investor apps like Robinhood and Coinbase, where many bitcoin counterparts are now emerging.
Despite cryptocurrencies like bitcoin getting big, don’t expect them to be replacing the dollar, at least anytime soon. That’s the stance of most banks, and the U.S. government.
“The secretary of the Department of the United States Treasury generally has the say as to the strength of the dollar and the rest of the world reacts,” said Congressman Richard Neal. “The dollar remains the international currency of the world.”
However, bitcoin is hoping one day to co-exist with the U.S. dollar currency.
“Of course most of the governments are saying no no no to it, but it will continue to emerge and I think it will emerge with our dollar at some point,” said Teed. “So it’s definitely going to happen.”
Teed refers to bitcoin as a collectible rather than an investment, since it can subjected to higher taxes. So buy at your own risk.
“When you invest in something like bitcoin, there is nobody behind it, watching it, regulating it or looking out for you,” said Teed. “You are on your own.”