A ticker on a computer screen at the Cboe Global Markets exchange in Chicago shows bitcoin cash prices and trades on Dec. 19. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Bitcoin as a concept is mind-boggling, and the confusion is increased when articles about it are accompanied by photographs of what appear to be real gold coins of a very handsome design.

Even though almost every article includes a disclaimer such as “bitcoin is an electronic form of currency that has no physical presence” (as, for example, in Thomas Heath’s Dec. 10 Value Added column, “A bitcoin primer: How to get rich or lose it all while trying,” Capital Business), the coins in the photos are so attractive that one wants to put them into a grandchild’s Christmas stocking.

Perhaps a more instructive visual would be a screen shot of a bitcoin transaction — presumably a string of digits — that would help readers understand that there are no bitcoin coins.

Bonnie Becker, Springfield