Bitcoin (BTC-USD) — the world’s first digital currency — has been a hot topic in financial circles for at least the last few years, and arguably needs no introduction.
Surveys suggest a majority of Americans have at least heard of it. In layman’s terms, Bitcoin is a virtual currency (aka cryptocurrency) which can be exchanged through online transactions, and is stored on a digital ledger. Once trading for pennies on the dollar, one unit now costs nearly $40,000 with a market capitalization of nearly $750 billion.
Although outlets that accept cryptocurrency are still limited, Bitcoin is arguably the most easily exchangeable of all the cryptocurrencies. A small but growing number of service providers accept the virtual currency, which can be used to buy goods in video games, exchanged for U.S. dollars or other fiat currencies — and even pay for goods and services at a few places.