What is cryptocurrency, and why is it becoming more common? Fort Wayne exec explains

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Investments in cryptocurrency, or digital currencies, continue to grow around the country, including in Fort Wayne.

Ralph Marcuccilli, the founder and CEO of Fort Wayne-based Allied Payment Network, describes cryptocurrency as a digital currency that is not backed by the U.S. government. Since it is not supported by the federal government, consumers do not need to go through a bank to exchange it. However, he adds the value of cryptocurrencies can fluctuate daily.

“Since (cryptocurrency) doesn’t have a U.S. guarantee, it’s based on what somebody else would pay you for it,” Marcuccilli said. “That changes day-to-day, like the stock market.”

The most well-known version of cryptocurrency is Bitcoin, but there are several other currencies like Ethereum and Dogecoin that have gained traction, too.

In the past, consumers had to have a some level of technical know-how to buy cryptocurrency. Now, access to buying cryptocurrency is easier than ever. Apps like Venmo and PayPal make it much easier for everyday consumers to purchase cryptocurrency at their fingertips.

Another tool that has become more common in Fort Wayne are Bitcoin ATMs. Like a standard ATM, consumers can exchange cash for cryptocurrency at a kiosk. According to Coin ATM Radar, there are nearly two dozen cryptocurrency ATMs located throughout the Fort Wayne.

Scott Buchanan, CFO of Bitcoin Depot, says they have about 3,500 ATMs located throughout the country, including a pair in Fort Wayne. The kiosks are often placed at gas stations or convenience stores due to their flexible hours and wide range of customers. Buchanan adds that the physical kiosks are great for consumers who are looking to get started with investing in cryptocurrencies.