Cryptocurrency, particularly Bitcoin, has been a hot topic in recent years. Unlike standard bills and coin, cryptocurrencies are entirely digital and have no corresponding physical element. Money no longer belongs exclusively to large financial institutions and governments, but to the users themselves, who can earn or mine Bitcoin in various ways. It also works as an investment option, and a single coin has been worth as much as $19,000. Because this type of currency is so new, people everywhere are wondering how it works, how to get it, and whether or not it’s worth the investment.

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1. Bitcoin and cryptocurrency

With cryptocurrency, there are no bills or metal coins. Bitcoins are blocks of data that act as currency. Beyond this difference, cryptocurrencies and other money are essentially the same. You can spend Bitcoin on items just as you would a dollar or other unit of currency. Very few businesses currently allow users to pay in Bitcoin, though this is changing. Users often rely on online Bitcoin trading sites and marketplaces to exchange goods and services for Bitcoin.

bitcoin phone market D-Keine / Getty Images
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