Podcast: Paying off student loan with Bitcoin

Imagine paying your student loan off with virtual currency. It’s possible, but what you have to ask yourself now is how risk averse you are.

Bitcoin, by definition, is a worldwide cryptocurrency and digital payment system. It is the first decentralized digital currency, as the system works without a central repository or single administrator. Released as an open-source software in 2009, the peer-to-peer transactions that take place are verified by network nodes and recorded in a public distributed ledger called a blockchain.

Investing in education, to begin with, is probably the best investment a young person can make.

“Without an education, you’re limited in the types of jobs and employment you can get,” Lance Messervy, a portfolio manager with One Capital Management (OCM), said.

As a full-time student, it might be difficult to invest in another asset while enrolled in school. Most people at this point in their lives don’t have the funds to invest in anything substantial.

Bitcoin has garnered the interest of millions and rapidly has become a commercialized idea. Investing in something like Bitcoin with such a high volatility might seem like teetering on the line of gambling, though. At any given day, the price movement of Bitcoin can go down dramatically.

Before investing in the cryptocurrency space, first and foremost one ‘must invest in their knowledge of the space,’ said cryptocurrency investor, Justin Barber.

“It’s easy to get over-optimistic,” Barber said. “I know people who have put their whole student loan [into Bitcoin] and there has been some big success stories but, due to the volatility, Bitcoin can lose 30 per cent in a few days.”

For those who are unfamiliar with the space of cryptocurrencies, there are more than thirteen hundred “altcoins”, which are simply alternative cryptocurrencies to Bitcoin, according to coinmarketcap.com.

Shane Golden got into Bitcoin when it first came out to the public in 2011 and started his own company, Goldenstrike Technologies, after he converted a gaming computer to make it have the ability to mine bitcoins.

Golden got to the crux of the question of if it’s possible to pay off your student loan using Bitcoin.

“Now, I wish I could see into the future and tell you exactly where it’s going to go, and I can’t,” Golden said. “Any time that somebody asks me if they should buy Bitcoin, I’ll ask them how risk averse they are.”

There is little doubt among cryptocurrency experts that Bitcoin will continue to grow, evolve and so forth, but the bottom line of whether or not to invest depends on how risk averse you are.

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