Bitcoins were all the rage in 2013. The virtual currency was worth about $13 per unit in January, before a media frenzy whipped up demand and drove Bitcoin values past $1,200 in November. The currency for people who don't like dollars is proving something here, inspiring JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) to research its own alternative to Bitcoin.
But wait a second before you load up your retirement portfolio with Bitcoins. The value of a Bitcoin turned out to be volatile in both directions. In the video below, Fool analyst Anders Bylund explains why you might want to play around with some fraction of a Bitcoin but should treat the virtual currency as a plaything and not an investment. Be careful out there.