February 16, 2018 1:00 pm
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What exactly is Bitcoin?

The extremely volatile digital currency has simultaneously fascinated and mystified the masses during its wild ride in recent months: The value of Bitcoin soared to nearly $20,000 late last year, dropped below $6,000 last week, and then rebounded to $10,000 recently.

Now even talk show host Ellen DeGeneres is trying to explain what Bitcoin is—in her trademark humorous fashion. On her show this week, DeGeneres compared Bitcoin to a baby goat, as well as a movie with a super-confusing plot.

Does that itself sound confusing? Well, it might make slightly more sense if you watch Ellen explain it.

You might not learn much about cryptocurrencies, but her observations do a good job of summing up the puzzlement many feel while wondering just what the heck Bitcoin is and what determines its value. The video is simply worth watching for a few laughs as well.

Essentially, “nobody understands” Bitcoin, DeGeneres said in her monologue. But there are many people out there who are at least pretending to understand what it’s all about: “It’s like a plot twist in a confusing movie, when you’re watching a movie and your friends are acting like they know what’s going on, and you’re like, ‘Yeah, I do too.’”

Even respected investors like billionaire Warren Buffett don’t seem to fully understand Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. “I get into enough trouble with things I think I know something about,” Buffett said on CNBC in early January, when asked if he would try to make money on cryptocurrencies. “Why in the world should I take a long or short position in something I don’t know anything about?”

Buffett did, however, make a prediction about where Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies will wind up in the long run: “In terms of cryptocurrencies, generally, I can say with almost certainty that they will come to a bad ending.”