SPECIAL REPORT: BITCOIN BONANZA - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

SPECIAL REPORT: BITCOIN BONANZA

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IOWA CITY (KWWL) -

A financial world without banks and government control is a future some are hoping to see with the rise of Bitcoin.

There are close to 1,400 different types of cryptocurriencies on the market but Bitcoin is the most commonly-known. Its been the buzz word amongst dinner tables and social media for months now.

The financial network of cryptocurriencies, like Bitcoin, is one that operates with no banks and no federal regulations. Bitcoin believers say it's democratizing finance.

On it's website, Bitcoin describes it as "an innovative payment network and a new kind of money."

It's often called "digital gold" but unlike gold, Bitcoin isn't stored in a locked vault. Instead, it's all at your fingertips, stored only online.

KWWL spoke to an University of Iowa senior who has bought in the Bitcoin bonanza since he was only a junior in high school and the buy in has paid off for him.

"I was making a lot of money for a junior, senior in high school. A lot of money, enough to support myself, he said "I was making as much as people make for salaries, certain salaries."

Like gold, some are buying in Bitcoin for it's value but for that reason others are taking the cautionary route.

The former Vice-President of Ebay's Asia Pacific Operations weighs in on the Bitcoin hype and why he thinks it can't succeed without regulation.

"A world where you don't have some sort of balance of the different levers you can do to to protect, it is not plausible. If that was the case, you'd take warning labels off cigarettes," he said.

Tonight at 10 p.m. on KWWL, watch the first installment of Bitcoin Bonanza.

More information about what Bitcoin is can be found here.

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