Local bitcoin investors talk about the cryptocurrency

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"My first thought was 'wow! This is the money of the future!'" exclaims Matthew Zarka. "I really thought that."

In 2012 he wanted to get involved in bitcoin but couldn't figure out how. At the time it was almost worthless.

Five years later, after bitcoin became more valuable than gold, he decided to buy his first one:

"It clicked that, man, I missed out on something huge right then by forgetting. And immediately that next day, I went on a journey around Michigan to find a bitcoin to buy."

There weren't any bitcoin ATM's in the Lansing area, so Zarka decided to get one for his store, Pawn Just Jewelry.

But it doesn't spit out cash. Despite the name there aren't actual coins. Instead, bitcoin is a digital currency, or a cryptocurrency, one that people don't need bank accounts or credit for.

"Just imagine the world being this open place where now all of a sudden I can transact with someone who's in China or in India as easily as I can do a financial transaction with my neighbor," David Smith explains. "I just think all of that is going to be really amazing, like what we've seen the internet do for communications, bitcoin and cryptocurrencies do to the financial sector."

Jerry Norris teaches how to buy and sell bitcoin at the Grand Ledge Fledge. He thinks it's fine to get involved, but says not to put your life savings into bitcoin:

"I think if your interest is you want to get rich quick, you might be doing it wrong in the first place," Norris points out. "If you want a nice steady income from investing, you'll probably be okay investing a little bit right now, but again it's risky."

The stories of people investing and their hundred dollar investment turning into millions is over, according to David Smith, which is why he says investments shouldn't be rent or mortgage money:

"The later that you get in and the higher the price, then the lower your potential return is."

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