Can You Survive Only on Cryptocurrency?
Host Luke Mones tested it out on the latest episode of The Breakdown.
With news that Facebook is joining the cryptocurrency game, the question is: Can you survive on it?
Cryptocurrency, such as Bitcoin or Ethereum, is a digital currency that uses encryption to make transactions secure. Instead of using cash or credit cards, you can use it to send payments directly to other people without going through institutions like banks. Facebook's version, which is expected to launch next year, will be called Libra.
"It doesn't rely on any one central entity to run the network," explained Hamdan Azhar of Bitcoin Center NYC. "Right now, we entrust our money and our possessions [to] banks and large corporations and entities and the finance industry, essentially. And these companies are, subject to failure, they're subject to making mistakes.
"We have to be part of the system. We have to use the dollar. ... Bitcoin suggests an alternative version of affairs where we're able to live in this country, to contribute, and to build great technologies, and to be incredible, patriotic, ethical citizens. At the same time, we don't have to use the dollar. We can use a currency that's decentralized."
Luke Mones, the host of Inside Edition's digital show, The Breakdown, attempted to only use cryptocurrency in New York City for 48 hours to see if it could be done.
Watch Episode 3 above to see how he fared. Spoiler alert: He got pretty hungry.
One business that did take cryptocurrency was Midoma, a salon in Midtown. Founder Michael Schwarzer, who's been accepting Bitcoin for about a year, told Luke he's trying to change the perception there's something illicit about it.
"Whenever we talk about Bitcoin, it seems like not too many people know about it," Schwarzer said. "Some people are actually afraid of it. They think it's something illegal. ... I think by us accepting this form of payment, we make it real."
For Schwarzer, it's also about embracing what's progressive. For Azhar, it's representative of an ideal.
"[Bitcoin is] not just a technology, it's a community, it's a home, it's a family of people who have the same values, who have the same beliefs about the world and the way the world should be," he said. "It's really quite a groundbreaking development in human history."
For more on Luke's experiment, watch Episode 3 of The Breakdown above. For other episodes, click here.
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