Why cryptocurrency is subject to dramatic price swings: Ben Has Your Back – WCVB Boston
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The campus of Bentley University in Waltham may seem like an unlikely place for a financial revolution, but the school is firmly in the midst of one.
Bentley University announced this month it’ll be one of the first universities in the country to accept tuition payments in cryptocurrency.
Bentley Junior Alex Kim said plenty of people told him it was foolish to invest all his savings in cryptocurrency.
While it is risky, he argues, crypto is a sound investment.
“I’ve been investing since high school. I’m still a holder. I’ve done pretty well for myself,” Kim said.
“Curiosity took me over and I’d started to learn about all this, and I realized, I’m not investing in the stock or an ETF, rather, I’m investing in a new technology, a new software, a new innovation in the space,” Kim said.
Kim has founded an on-campus cryptocurrency association, which successfully pushed for the creation of crypto finance classes at Bentley.
“You know, I’m taking a gamble here, and I feel like I’m part of something really early right now,” Kim said.
John Bettcher is the CEO of First Vector, a company that advises financial technology firms on cryptocurrency.
“I think right now we really haven’t harnessed the value of cryptocurrency,” Bettcher said. “It’s very difficult to determine the value of Bitcoin because there’s nothing backing it, right?”
That is what leads to wild price swings.
Unlike traditional currency, dollars, pounds, euros, crypto is not backed by a government. So the price is simply a feature of supply and demand.
“Right now, the price of Bitcoin, for example, is about $31,000 per Bitcoin,” Bettcher said. “It’s gone up to $60,000. There’s been some people who have said that this will go up to $100,000 or $200,000.”
The technology behind crypto is called blockchain. It’s basically an open source, but secure ledger, which Bettcher says is the true value of cryptocurrency.
With a few taps on a phone screen, it brings financial services to people anywhere around the globe who don’t have access to a traditional bank or investments.
Crypto cuts out the financial middlemen in the process.
“This is about creating an open banking, open finance system,” Bettcher said. “You’re investing in the long-term value of cryptocurrency and the underlying technology in the blockchain and what it can do. Because I really believe that over time, you know, it could change the face of financial services.”
But it’s still in the early days, since you can’t pay for most things with crypto except tuition.
At Bentley, where Alex Kim sees crypto soon becoming a part of day-to-day life, which he says will prove the worth of his investment.
“I see it changing completely,” Bettcher said.
Both experts say that, right now, cryptocurrency should only be viewed as a long-term investment. It’s just one part of a diversified portfolio.
That might change in the future, but for now, consider it like you would any other stock, just one with some more wild price swings.
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