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It’s hard to escape the hype surrounding cryptocurrency, from Elon Musk saying that “there’s a good chance that crypto is the future currency of Earth” to headlines like this one, predicting that Bitcoin could hit $100,000 by 2023. Whether either of those things happens, or crypto takes a turn for the worse, remains to be seen, but one thing is clear: There’s a lot of action happening around cryptocurrency: Cryptocurrency payment gateway Triple A estimates that as of this year, there are more than 300 million crypto users worldwide and over 18,000 businesses that accept crypto payments. For their part, many colleges and universities — like Stanford, MIT, Duke, and UPenn — have been working to get their student up to speed on this quick-moving world by steadily adding cryptocurrency courses to their curriculum.
So we asked Professor Christine A. Parlour, the Sylvan C. Coleman Chair at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business — who has taught courses on investing for years and more recently has begun introducing crypto into her curriculum — what new crypto investors should know. “Over time, as cryptocurrencies have increased in importance, the content of the FinTech MBA course has switched increasingly to crypto,” she says. Here are her thoughts:
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Alisa Wolfson is a personal-finance columnist for MarketWatch.