Government auctioning off criminals’ bitcoin
FOX Business’ Kristina Partsinevelos reports on the 4,000 bitcoin — about $39 million worth — being auctioned off that were seized from people who were convicted of a crime.
Nearly 25 million people around the world use bitcoin, a type of cryptocurrency, or digital money, that lets consumers buy goods and services, or trade their coins for a profit.
Continue Reading Below
The value of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, ethereum and ripple has been quite volatile over the past few years, though, so what’s the appeal? And what’s the benefit of going digital?
Many would say convenience. Since cryptocurrencies are decentralized and not tied to exchange rates, interest or other similar fees, it can be used internationally for much cheaper than standard money. This can save businesses and consumers from paying extra.
Then, there’s the matter of consumer security. Transactions are sent using software called cryptocurrency wallets. The person who creates the transaction uses the wallet to transfer balances from one public address to another. Each transaction leads to a unique set of keys, and whoever owns that code owns the amount of cryptocurrency associated with it.
On the other hand, when you give your credit card information to a vendor, they gain access to your entire credit line, no matter the amount of the transaction, and then pulls the designated payment amount from your account. When you pay with a cryptocurrency, however, the buyer instead pushes only the information needed to complete the order.
The true safety of cryptocurrencies can be debated, particularly in a time when data security is top of mind for shoppers, but there are some other things to consider, too.
US, CHINA AND THE RACE FOR DIGITAL CURRENCY
Much like stock exchanges, the value of cryptocurrencies fluctuates depending on market conditions. Bitcoin, for example, dropped from a high near $14,000 in June 2019 to just below $10,000 as of press time, so you should only purchase what you can afford to lose.
MILLENNIALS SHOULD INVEST IN BITCOIN, BILLIONAIRE INVESTOR SAYS
And although some big brands like Microsoft, Starbucks and Whole Foods have the capacity to accept cryptocurrency payments, spending can still be tricky.
CLICK HERE TO GET FOX BUSINESS ON THE GO
Since digital money is created and stored electronically, “payments made with virtual currencies are not only irreversible, they also do not have the same legal protections as most traditional payment methods, such as the ones you have when using a credit card,” according to a Federal Trade Commission report resurfaced by the Better Business Bureau.
CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ON FOX BUSINESS
Source: Read Full Article