You may have seen or heard the words Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple, but do you know what it is all about? Do you know how, potentially, this may become an alternative to money as we know it?
"In short, Blockchain is a platform that was originally developed and marketed as a secure platform for financial transactions!"
No one person can change or modify records in a Blockchain transaction without every single computer in the chain showing the same modification. In tandem with this, a non-physical currency known as Bitcoin was developed as a payment method with a physical value for each digital coin.
You will also hear the term crypto mining or Bitcoin mining. This was where software programmers use very powerful computers to solve and complete complex Blockchain sequences, fill in the gaps in the platform and earn cryptocurrency (mainly Bitcoin), which is stored in a digital vault. That vault could be a secure online account or could even be on your computer hard drive at home.
Bitcoin is synonymous with a rare diamond. The value of this cryptocurrency in the last 12 and a half years of its creation has been as little as $109 per Bitcoin to a peak of $64,000 per Bitcoin in April 2021.
"In the US, there are some places you can pay with Bitcoin!"
With the likes of Elon Musk (Founder of Tesla Motors and Space X) and Jeff Bezos (Founder of Amazon and now into the Space race as well) putting efforts into accepting Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies on their platforms, there is much more general awareness of the terminology, if not the understanding of what it all means.
The most recent horror story of Bitcoin, when values shot through the roof include one person having lost his password to his digital wallet and there is no password reset for security. It was estimated that he has $220 million worth of Bitcoin with absolutely no way of getting to it.
Other stories include, in 2013, one person discarding his computer in a landfill, only to discover he threw away the wrong hard drive, containing his digital passkey, with 7,500 Bitcoins, now worth an estimated $280 million! He begged his local council to let him search the landfill, even promising them half the money if they helped.
"There are now lots of other cryptocurrencies besides Bitcoin!"
There are also lots of trading platforms where you can invest in fractions of crypto with small investments. The one lesson to be learnt is that, in the case of cryptocurrency, passwords and digital keys can make a difference in fortunes.
With the world evolving with more and more online fraud, it is safe to say that Blockchain transactions and using cryptocurrency to pay for goods and services will no doubt be part of mainstream life in the next few years.
It is always advisable to seek professional advice from a reputable financial institution before investing any of your hard-earned money.
Keep safe! It's a digital jungle out there.
Until next time ...
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