Cryptocurrency sounds like something from a futuristic science-fiction movie. The Bitcoin bubble of 2017 (which saw Bitcoin prices spike and then crash) made many cryptocurrency investors millionaires overnight. But cryptocurrency isn’t your grandfather’s currency anymore. In fact, it’s just getting started. With Bitcoins being around for over eight years, the market is ripe for growth, and cryptocurrencies are expected to move into the mainstream in the next five years.

It’s easy to forget what big deal cryptocurrencies were a couple of years ago. At that time, Bitcoin was at the top of the cryptocurrency heap, with prices reaching $10,000 per coin. Today, Bitcoin is only worth about $30,000 per coin. But cryptocurrencies are still going strong, and new coins are popping up all the time. What might cryptocurrencies look like in the future?

Cryptocurrency is all the rage these days, with large increases and decreases in the value of popular coins. One of the earliest cryptos, Bitcoin, started trading in 2010, and by 2017, it was worth over $11,000. In 2018, however, Bitcoin’s value plummeted, and by May, the coin had fallen to less than $6,000. The crypto had fallen even further by December—it was worth less than $3,000!

Cryptocurrency is gaining increasing momentum, and it’s turning a few heads with its fast growth. It’s clear that the future of cryptocurrency is bright, but there’s still a lot we don’t know. It is a digital currency in which encryption systems are utilized in regulating the generation of currency units and verifying the transmission of funds, functioning with no reliance from a central bank.

Cryptocurrency has been all the rage in recent years, but people are still not quite sure what it actually is. It’s a form of digital money that’s created by “mining” on blockchain technology. A blockchain is a shared group of records or databases, which are updated and duplicated millions of times over by a network of computers, so no random computer can’t make changes to it. Because of this, blockchain technology is impossible to tamper with, which makes it extremely secure.

With Bitcoin’s price at nearly $30,000, Bitcoin skeptics have finally begun to reconsider their position. Yet even they can’t deny the appeal of cryptocurrencies. The technology behind it is exciting, and the idea of being able to hold value on the internet is intriguing. Speculation is the keyword here, though. No one knows what cryptocurrencies will be worth in five years—and given the volatility of cryptocurrency prices, there may never be a definitive answer.

Bitcoin (and its many, many derivative cryptocurrencies) has been an emerging phenomenon for the past five years, but cryptocurrencies themselves have been around for much longer. Bitcoin was first introduced way back in 2008 as a concept, and it wasn’t until 2011 that the first cryptocurrency was created—nearly a decade before Bitcoin traded at $20,000 and Bitcoin ATMs were popping up all over the world. That said, the talk of cryptocurrency was everywhere in 2018, and with prices increasing and dropping rapidly, it’s no wonder everyone’s curious: what does it all mean? 

If you’re wondering whether you should invest in cryptocurrency—or any investment for that matter—there are a few things you should consider. First, how volatile are cryptocurrencies? Cryptocurrencies may be volatile, but they aren’t nearly as volatile as stocks, bonds, or currencies. Secondly, how are cryptocurrencies taxed? While cryptocurrency holders are taxed on income derived from gains, losses, and transactions made, most cryptocurrency tax rules are still in flux. And third, how will cryptocurrencies interact with other financial products? As of right now, most cryptocurrencies don’t function like stocks. Do note that some cryptocurrencies do function more like bonds or currencies, but they might be compared to stocks in the future.