Bitcoin, bitcoin, bitcoin. Since the end of 2017 and now into 2018 it’s been hard to avoid the mention of the now wildly popular cryptocurrency. From Cassandra's, who warn that the meteoric rise is a bubble (hello, Jamie Dimon!) to true believers, who think Bitcoin will go to $100,000, it seems that the rest of us better brush up on what’s behind the mania.
My first Bitcoin story aired on CBS in 2011, but I certainly don’t consider myself an expert on all things crypto. Thankfully our guest today, Dan Roberts, senior writer at Yahoo Finance, is a total crypto geek and has been covering the wild ride from the beginning.
We started by discussing Dan’s recent piece about the biggest misconceptions when it comes to bitcoin. (This is a great primer for any of you who have read headlines, but are now ready to peel back the first layer of the onion.) For instance, one of the great appeals of cryptocurrencies, for better or worse, has always been that it’s not traceable. Wrong! As Dan explains, it is very much traceable. I had no idea. And it all ties back to the blockchain technology that powers digital currencies.
I also didn’t know that coinbase, the most common exchange used to buy cryptocurrencies, is FDIC insured up to a maximum of $250,000. Like brokerage accounts, the FDIC protect against the failure of the institution, not against trading losses.
Additionally, while it might sound like the Wild West, but the world of cryptocurrencies is more regulated than you would think. Dan notes that legit Bitcoin brokerages are all licensed in some manner: either with Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) and all of the exchanges now offering bitcoin futures and options are overseen by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).
Does that mean you should sell your stocks and plunge into cryptocurrencies? SLOW DOWN, TURBO...Consider this: on the day we taped this interview, Bitcoin tumbled nearly 20 percent, so you would be wise to listen to Dan discuss his number one fear before pulling the trigger.
Follow Dan on Twitter for easy to understand cryptocurrency content.
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