Cryptocurrencies like ethereum and bitcoin are gaining popularity, and now you can spend them right here in the state — on healthcare. Healing Hands of Nebraska in Norfolk at the Sunset Plaza Mall wants you to be able to pay them in cryptocurrency.
“There’s always a little excitement and fear when you try something for the first time,” the clinic’s practicing surgeon, Aguila, said.
Cryptocurrency started being used at the clinic this month as a way to give people more options.
“Not everybody has U.S. dollars … in addition, we’ve had a number of businesses and individuals who want to support Healing Hands of Nebraska [from other nations],” Aguila said. Donors asked him for the best way to support their practice. He believes cryptocurrency is a great option because people can avoid the fees of transferring their currency to the U.S. dollar. This makes sense business-wise because the clinic has seen patients from as far away as Serbia and Ireland, and is expecting even more international clients when the pandemic’s travel restrictions ease.
Thus far, they haven’t had transactions with the cryptocurrency yet.
But, when they do, Aguila will transfer that amount using a platform like CoinBase.
Still, experts advise people to be careful with investments.
Just Thursday, the Bank of England (BOE)’s Governor Andrew Bailey said cryptocurrencies “have no intrinsic value” and people who invest in them should be prepared to lose all their money. Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal has some takeaway advice; for example, that the rise of these digital assets is majorly fueled by speculation. Plus, market analyst Susannah Streeter tells the journal that “Cheap doesn’t mean a bargain, it’s only a bargain if it rises. If it is cheap, it’s also potentially because it is worthless.”
However, Aguila argues that these risks come with any investment.
“It’s true that there’s a lot of volatility […] but cryptocurrency is not that different from precious metals,” Aguila said.
He predicts that much like how European countries used to each have their own currency until they all used the euro, the same will go for cryptocurrencies.