(KRDO) — The first thing to understand about Bitcoin is it’s not a coin.
Despite images of coins that you may have seen on TV or the internet, there are no high-tech factories that stamp and distribute them.
Think of cryptocurrency more like a PayPal account that turns dollars into a new form of digital money. Bitcoin and other forms, however, are considered unhackable.
They are also decentralized, meaning the total supply isn’t managed by any country’s government.
Today, 1 in every 7 or 8 Americans owns some form of cryptocurrency, according to the latest estimates.
For most of her life, 84-year-old Stella Manzanares was a hairdresser. She later invested some money in traditional stocks and mutual funds and says she did “ok.”
Now, however, she’s among more than 20 million crypto investors in the country.
“I bought a few bitcoins when it was low, and it got up here, and I thought ‘Ooooh I’m going to make good money.’”
She now has all the money she needs and has moved on to her grandkids.
“They’re going to be well off when I’m through with them,” says Manzanares.
Helping her navigate the waters of cryptocurrency was Dave Benavides, who describes himself as a crypto enthusiast.
Benavides worked in the tech industry for years before discovering Bitcoin.
“Jumped in and haven’t looked back.”
He believes cryptocurrency is simply the latest step in the evolution of money, which has moved farther and farther away from coins and paper in recent decades.
“People have moved away