Making the switch |

» If current problems are solved, cryptocurrency could be to financial transactions what word processors were to typewriters

By BECKY GILLETTE

Wendell Fugitt is a bit of a “crypto nerd.” He drives about two hours a day from his home in Covington County to where he operates his business, Sta-Security, in the Jackson area. He uses that time to listen to news about cryptocurrency, a decentralized digital or virtual currency that uses cryptography as a security feature.

He is a small business owner with no 401(k) or official retirement plan. Now when he has a little extra to put away for retirement, he invests in Bitcoin or Litecoin cryptocurrency whereas in the past he would have invested in physical gold or silver.

“Bitcoin was created by a group of individuals after the 2008 crisis when we taxpayers spent billions of dollars bailing out the banks,” Fugitt said. “When the code was written, the banking crisis was given as a reason for releasing Bitcoin to the world.”

Bitcoin is described as an innovation payment network and a new kind of money. Fugitt said Bitcoin is considered the “gold” of the cryptocurrency world, and Litecoin the “silver.” There are literally thousands of others, and many of those would make a dodgy investment. Fugitt said someone with a lot of money can easily manipulate some of these small cryptocurrencies.

Cryptocurrency can be puzzling to people used to FDIC-insured bank deposits.

“It is a totally different world,” Fugitt said. “Without doing a lot of research, it is hard to understand. Right now, it is mainly crypto nerds who talk about it a lot, but it is becoming easier for the beginning investor.”

He has faith the cryptocurrency is the wave of the future.

“Digital currency is a big thing,” Fugitt said. “Banks are getting into it. Some companies and some countries like China, Tunisia and the Marshall Islands are starting to issue cryptocurrency. It is what is coming. Currently there is a…

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