Ellen DeGeneres explains bitcoin: 'You’ll either be a millionaire or you’ll be totally broke'

  • Bitcoin is "like a plot twist in a confusing movie," the comedian said.
Ellen DeGeneres speaks onstage during 'One Voice: Somos Live! A Concert For Disaster Relief' at the Universal Studios Lot on October 14, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.
Kevin Winter | One Voice: Somos Live! | Getty Images
Ellen DeGeneres speaks onstage during 'One Voice: Somos Live! A Concert For Disaster Relief' at the Universal Studios Lot on October 14, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.

You know that moment when you're all talking about bitcoin but nobody really understands it? Well, TV host Ellen DeGeneres summed up that feeling perfectly Thursday.

The comedian took it upon herself to explain to her audience what the cryptocurrency actually is.

"Everybody is talking about bitcoin, nobody understands it," she said. "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.'

"Pretend like bitcoin is a goat. Now it's adorable... and you want to pick it up and you want to pet it. But you can't because it's not there, it doesn't exist except for on that Internet right there, just like bitcoin is digital currency."

DeGeneres explained that bitcoin is like a stock market where people can make money off of it, but said that she'd "rather own a baby goat" than the cryptocurrency.

"Basically, if you invest in bitcoin, you'll either be a millionaire or you'll be totally broke," she said.

The TV host tweeted out the clip of her explanation.

DeGeneres is not far off in some senses. Bitcoin is indeed digital not physical. It is known as a "decentralized currency" because it is not issued by a central authority. Instead its maintenance relies on a network of computers and different participants.

It also is underpinned by a technology called blockchain, which is a public ledger of activity that is tamperproof.

Cryptocurrencies are known for their extreme volatility. The market recently saw a crash but has since recovered slightly, although many digital coins are still off their all-time highs.