Basics of Cryptocurrency (Bitcoin) in 5 Minutes

Cryptocurrency allows people to securely send/recieve currency virtually without an intermediary. In the past, you would need a bank, Paypal, credit company, or some kind of third party to complete a secured digital transaction.

The properties of cryptocurrency include the following:

1) Once a transaction is completed, there is no way to reverse it.
2) You can't track who the real-life person is.
3) It is fast and transactions are confirmed within minutes.
4) They are locked in that only the owners of the private keys can transact the crypocurrency.
5) It's not regulated by entity and anyone can send/receive crypocurrency.

How are you able to send currency virtually, without a third party broker to verify the transaction?
Each time there is a transaction with a crytocurrency, the transaction is recorded in a network. Instead of having a third party institution verify the transaction, there are people like you and me who are called miners. Miners verify the transactions and stamp them as legit and then the information gets disseminated through the network. Each confirmed transaction is then added as a node to a database forming the "blockchain". This creates a unique blockchain, which is set in stone and can not be manipulated. 

What is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is the first cryptocurrency and serves as the digital gold standard. Like gold, Bitcoin is used as a place to store value. People also speculate on the price of Bitcoin. While Bitcoin has no intrinsic value in that it is not redeemable for any commodities or a cash flow generating business. However, its supply is limited to 21 million Bitcoins by a decentralized network, which as caused the price to skyrocket when demand increases.

Where can you buy Bitcoin?
If you feel the urge to want to speculate or diversify your investments, you can purchase Bitcoin via Coinbase. Personally, I would not put in more than 2% of your portfolio.

Should you invest in Bitcoin? Here is what some billionaires had to say about it.
"I think it's in a bubble. I just don't know when or how much it corrects," tweeted Mark Cuban.

Buffett essentially said that bitcoin is essentially a more modern version of writing someone a check or sending a money order, and advised investors to avoid it. "Stay away from it. It's a mirage, basically...The idea that it has some huge intrinsic value is a joke in my view."

"Bitcoin has no underlying rate of return," Bogle continued. "You know bonds have an interest coupon, stocks have earnings and dividends, gold has nothing. There is nothing to support bitcoin except the hope that you will sell it to someone for more than you paid for it."