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Cryptocurrency's Slow March Toward The Mainstream


Wednesday, March 7, 2021

In 2010, the first economic transaction of bitcoin took place. A man bought two Papa John’s pizzas, valued at $25, in exchange for 10,000 bitcoins.

Today, a single bitcoin is worth nearly $60,000, and valued at today’s price, those two pizzas effectively cost hundreds of millions of dollars.

Cryptocurrency is essentially digital money. Unlike the U.S. dollar, it is decentralized and uses an online ledger called blockchain.

Now, the surge in value has ramifications beyond the tech community, as PayPal is now allowing users to pay online with cryptocurrencies and Elon Musk’s company, Tesla, said it would start accepting bitcoin as payment.

But bitcoin is also notorious for being used in illegal transactions, such as buying and selling drugs online.

What is the future of currencies designed to “circumvent the traditional banking infrastructure?” And is it just a matter of time before the U.S. dollar is a relic of a bygone era?


Anna Irrera, chief financial technology correspondent at Reuters

Peter Van Valkenburgh, director of research at Coin Center

Carol Goforth, professor of law at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, specialist in cryptocurrency regulation

Jesse Steinmetz is Producer of Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins. Before joining WFAE in 2019, he was an intern at WNPR in Hartford, Connecticut and hosted a show at Eastern Connecticut State University.