(The Original article is posted by me on LinkedIn on September, 2017: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/what-cryptocurrency-bitcoin-robin-machado/
Been curious about this myself for a while, did some research, and thought I’d do a knowledge share for all who would like to know more about this topic like me.
This is an article for all who have questions such as:
- What is Crypto Currency? (Or ‘Bitcoin’ if you are more familiar with that)
- What do I do with Crypto Currency?
- What does the future hold for Crypto Currency?
While learning about it myself, I will do my best to answer these questions in as short and sweet a method as possible.
What is it?
Well, to put it simply, someone somewhere said I’ve had enough with these localized, government-controlled currencies that could really mess up sometimes and that it’s time to create a global currency that would work in a more meaningful, non-biased, and secure way. If you are one of the few that hasn’t faced such a challenge – congratulations; but if you are somewhat of a global citizen or even someone who travels and understand things like exchange rates (& Forex), you kind of understand how a currency that doesn’t get affected by ‘where’ you spend it has its benefits.
- Open ledger (transparent)
- Still hasn’t taken off yet (so you can’t use it in most places),
- prone to hackers (but so is banking),
- prone to fluctuations (since it still has that new smell),
- the world hasn’t finalized on one cryptocurrency .. so exchange rate between crypto’s might eventually be a problem (..something to think about)
By the way, that someone I mentioned before was a person or group named Satoshi Nakamoto, and they created Bitcoin in 2009 – some good Netflix documentaries on that if you are interested, such as Banking on Bitcoin. Since this is the first it gets the privilege of being considered primary, such as with Xerox.
Bitcoin – CryptoCurrency Fluctuations – Feb 2017 to Sep 2017
The value of Cryptocurrencies is certainly prone to fluctuations, value rapidly changing based on demand (& supply). Like all valuable materials, the overall supply is eventually limited i.e. production would gradually decrease. As for how this currency is supplied, for example, like Bitcoin, it’s via Bitcoin Miners – People who use special software to solve math problems and are issued a certain number of Bitcoins in exchange (still learning this side of things myself TBH).
What do you do with it?
Simply put it is a currency, so you can do with it what you would with a currency – buy, sell, trade. The only difference is, it isn’t widely accepted yet so there aren’t too many places to use it .. and more importantly, you can’t use it for the everyday requirement .. yet. It is rapidly gaining popularity though and could very well soon go mainstream, once a popular global standard eventually rises.
Another option that many are going for is to invest in it .. buy it, store it, forget about it for a couple of months or years. Many early investors seem to find that just doing that has helped them multiply their investment. Disclaimer here though, do your research before you invest in any cryptocurrency and especially research on how you plan to buy it and store it .. those need to be dependable too. Can reach out to me as well for help, will do the best I can. Ethereum, in case you haven’t heard of it, is a cryptocurrency that has by far the most gains due to being backed by major corporations such as Microsoft, Samsung, JPMorgan Chase, and others in what’s being called the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance. Though when corporations get involved, things start going wrong in the long run; for now, it’s just a wait and watch.
There are multiple options to buy Cryptocurrencies, the most popular are app-based wallets such as Coinbase. There are multiple ways to bet for and against Cryptocurrencies too, such as IQ Option Europe. Once again, disclaimer here, do the research, evaluate your risks, and then start. Always start small, learn the ropes, and then you can gradually go bigger as you gain a better understanding of how things work.
Where adoption of Cryptocurrency is high, there are ATMs being installed too. For example, in the US there are 1000’s ATMs installed in many states where they use a scanner for authenticating your identity, and then you can transact.
What does the future hold?
Everything has to get a lot worse before it gets better. What we are talking about here is the impact on the national and global currency-based economy. There is currently a massive system in place put forward by governments and financial institutions to manage currency as we know it .. the supply of it, credit rates, interest rates, exchange rates, and so on. This global unregulated cryptocurrency system evades all that for a person-to-person exchange like the barter system of the old days but is available globally via an app – which basically means that governments are no longer involved in regulating or manipulating. Also means that governments now need to find a way to be involved or be left out of the conversation altogether.
The sum it all up, keeping the financial crashes in mind, the cryptocurrency option seems like a better way to go but that’s mostly because we do not fully comprehend how much of the government and financial regulation system most of us actually depend on till this goes mainstream. Good governments however will find a way to adapt, bad governments will find a way to profit, all the institutions in between will rise, fall, change, and slowly things will fall in place to the new reality. All in all, cryptocurrencies are in fact a new reality that we are not fully aware of and we are learning on the go. We can probably have a great guess on what the future holds, but ultimately as the current times have taught us, anything is possible.