Should You Invest in Bitcoin?

Is this digital currency the wave of the future, or a craze to avoid?

In this April 3, 2013 photo, Mike Caldwell, a 35-year-old software engineer, looks over bitcoin tokens at his shop in Sandy, Utah. Caldwell mints physical versions of bitcoins, cranking out homemade tokens with codes protected by tamper-proof holographic seals, a retro-futuristic kind of prepaid cash.

In this April 3, 2013 photo, Mike Caldwell, a 35-year-old software engineer, looks over bitcoin tokens at his shop in Sandy, Utah. Caldwell mints physical versions of bitcoins, cranking out homemade tokens with codes protected by tamper-proof holographic seals.

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For those who are intrigued, investing cautiously in bitcoins seems the way to go for now. And if you're someone like Harlan Platt, finance professor at Northeastern University's D'Amore-McKim School of Business, you shouldn't touch it at all.

"Bitcoins are a bit like pixie dust, the substance that Tinker Bell used," Platt says. "It only exists if you believe it exists. Unlike formal currencies, there is nothing that stands behind them such as the full faith and credit of the United States government. Like other schemes, though, it is somewhat like musical chairs. As long as you're not the last person to sit down, the game is fun. The last person left holding these instruments only has a story to tell and no value."