I opted to make a gentle entrance into the world of Bitcoin: A modest $10 deposit I could use as a measuring stick. Adding a zero or two or three to the ever-updating balance could give me a clear picture of what my investment track might be had I purchased more Bitcoin.

Beyonce may have her face plastered on a loaf of bread, but I have a bread wallet!

Why did I do it? I was researching for a radio news story, and my curiosity carried me away on a bus, bound for downtown Albany and Clinton Square, for a face-to-face encounter with a Bitcoin ATM!

Bitcoin, launched in 2009, is a decentralized digital currency, created and held electronically. No one controls it. Bitcoins aren’t printed, like dollars or euros – they’re produced by lots of people running computers all around the world, using software that solves mathematical problems. Because the value of Bitcoin fluctuates, there’s been ongoing debate as to whether it is a currency or a commodity. I cover that at length in a radio story in which Paul Paterakis of CT@HB gives insight to obtaining a Bitcoin wallet.

In the radio piece I also chat with Dave Ripley, who is Co-Founder and CEO of Glidera, a digital currency venture headquartered in Chicago.

So it’s been a few weeks since I got my feet wet in Bitcoin. I’ve played around on some websites that feature “faucets” where you can “earn” (or be gifted) Bitcoin. I added a Bitcoin tip badge to my blogs (see upper left column of this blog!) I explored the possibility of using my Raspberry Pi to “mine” Bitcoin.

I think I got in at a good time, as Bitcoin has been drifting downward, and I’ll probably buy more tomorrow! If you have been considering Bitcoin, this may be one of the best times to purchase. Begin with an amount your comfortable with. That 20 bucks you would have spent on scratch lottery tickets, or that $10 unexpected rebate you got when you bought new sneakers.

Even though you can’t physically touch one, there are two sides to every BitCoin: the side presented in this article and the other side – those who mine and make their own bitcoins – not for the feint of heart. I’ll leave it to you to Google that for yourself, if interested!