DETROIT – Cryptocurrency is becoming more popular.
More and more businesses are accepting cryptocurrency as payment. Crypto.com bought the naming rights to the former Staples Center in Los Angeles -- making it Crypto.com Arena.
Cryptocurrency is just like regular currency, but it’s entirely digital. To put it in simple terms, take a dollar for example, each one has a serial number. Think of cryptocurrency as just that number -- without the paper.
Crypto wallets, like Coinbase or Blockchain, are basically like the bank account you have now. But the cryptowallet is only controlled by you. Once you have that, you can buy or invest in Bitcoin or Etherium or Litecoin and so on.
There are thousands of different types of cryptocurrencies and all of them are unstable. That’s why financial advisor Michael Masserant steers his older clients away from large investments in crypto. He said even though Crypto.com bought the naming rights to the old Staples Center doesn’t mean it’s a safe bet.
“Just because it’s becoming more well-known doesn’t necessarily mean it’s becoming more stable, it’s still volatile. Maybe not quite as volatile as it was back in the first couple of years. But it can still be wildly volatile,” Masserant said.
What about buying something with crypto? More and more places are taking it -- including AMC Theaters, Home Depot, Whole Foods and Starbucks.
The tricky part is many require separate wallets, like Bakkt. Download it, buy some Bitcoin, connect it to the Starbucks app and you can buy some coffee.
Crypto payments aren’t mainstream yet, but the Michigan Law Firm expects people to get there.
“We’ve been accepting cryptocurrency for about 11 months now. We have not actually recovered, I guess accepted any cryptocurrency in exchange for legal services yet,” Josh Freedman with Michigan Law Firm said. “Back in the day people issued personal checks, then came around credit and debit cards, and cryptocurrency appears to be the next thing in that respect.”
Adam Zientarski is with EOS Detroit, which gets paid in crypto for its product development. He thinks there is regulation looming for the industry, but the next five years could be very exciting.
“The really, really good news is there’s a lot of opportunities in this industry. Like, we can’t find enough people to do smart contract development. We can’t find enough people to do business development and marketing, right? So if you’re trying to get into, like, the tech industry, this is a really, I feel like, easy avenue,” Zientarski said.