Web Statistics Get Up To Speed With Blockchain, Bitcoin, and Etherium

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Get Up To Speed With Blockchain, Bitcoin, and Etherium

Get Up To Speed With Blockchain, Bitcoin, and Etherium



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Get Up To Speed With Blockchain, Bitcoin, and Etherium?

Get Up To Speed With Blockchain, Bitcoin, and Etherium
Get Up To Speed With Blockchain, Bitcoin, and Etherium

Get Up To Speed With Blockchain, Bitcoin, and Etherium

And heres how to invest!

Hearing the words crypto-currency or blockchain immediately stimulates most people into a mixture of confusion and boredom.  Let’s get you up to speed quickly with what this is all about and what it means for the future because it is going to be big.  Very, very big.

Let's make a start at looking at what blockchain technology actually is all about.

Think about what a ledger is. You know the sort of thing, you record sales and purchase on them and they have been around for hundreds if not thousands of years.   Well, a blockchain is a digital ledger and it carries out the same function in that it records credits and debits between people. That is the basic idea.  The key difference lies in where the ledger is held and how it is verified.

There is normally some sort of intermediary involved when a payment is transferred from one party to another. As an example, Harry wants to send $100 to Jane. The choice he has is he can either give her cash or some sort of bank transfer, or even a banking app, in order to send the money from his account to her bank account.  A bank is verifying the transfer in either situation. This is when he either takes the cash out of a cash machine or when the bank transfer is made.  It's always the bank that determines if the transaction should go ahead and it is also the bank that records the transactions. Everything is done via the bank who holds the ledger.  

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That is an awful lot of responsibility if you think about it. Customers must have utter faith in their ban to do this correctly and record transactions faithfully or they will simply withdraw their funds and walk away.  In fact, the whole economy depends on the banks being trusted to record everyone’s financial transactions. Without them it would literally all just fall apart.

Now, enter blockchains.  They are completely different because they are totally decentralised. Not only is there no central ledger kept by one entity but there is also no central clearing house shared by all the banking participants. The leger is held in a vast system of computers known as nodes, instead.  Every one of the computers retains a complete copy of the ledger. The network of computers need to ensure that they have exactly the same version of the ledger at all times.  This is done by connecting the computers together using software called P2P which stands for peer-to-peer client.

The data is encrypted using modern, highly secure cryptographic technology.

Enter Bitcoin, which is a virtual currency that runs on the new system of computerised ledgers. It has no physical form like our existing currency and only exists electronically.

Government decides how much money exists in an economy but the amount of Bitcoin has nothing to do with government. Instead, it's Bitcoin's users and nodes agree by consensus that decide how much exists. And it is only created in digital form.

The initial Bitcoins were created in January 2009 and it had no value at outset. The network of computers are each rewarded with some Bitcoins for every successful calculation they carry out.  This is called Bitcoin Mining and it this rewarding of work that motivates the computers to offer the service.

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The maximum number of Bitcoin that can ever be produced is 21 million. You keep your Bitcoin in your Bitcoin Wallet on your computer or mobile device.  Lose that file and your Bitcoin is irreplaceably gone forever.

The value of Bitcoin depends on what people think it is worth rather than a set value. It has been highly volatile during its early years but it is expected to settle down.

You can easily spend Bitcoin these days as there are thousands of retailers who will happily accept it.

Whilst Bitcoin is the best know "cryptocurrency" is certainly not the only one. There is another one of particular interest called Ether which is created on a system called Ethereum.  It has been the centre of a great deal of attention because it has additional applications.

Ethereum is far more than just a digital currency. It is a platform built on blockchain. Like Bitcoin, it is incredibly secure.

Here is the current chart of etherium

It was virtually unknown until a few months ago, and has skyrocketed as much as 400 USD. WOW! It has gone back down to 205 as you read this, but the potential for this could be huge. 

A crucial difference that Ethereum has over Bitcoin is that it can create Smart Contracts and something called a DApp which is a decentralized application.  This gets really technical but, in practice, it means that it can be used to create applications outside of currency. These include sports betting, financial trading contracts, the internet-of-things, electricity pricing and sourcing and farm-to-table produce amongst many others.

Ether is the currency which, in turn, powers Ethereum.

Bitcoin has been a great investment for many people and it has traded at over $3000 this year, 2017, for the first time. That is up over 200% this year.

No one can be certain what the outlook is for any investment, but some writers have said that Bitcoin might have more upside to go, yet.  It would need for there to be a much more widespread uptake of the currency but if you take Venezuela as an example, where the people started using the currency to buy food when the economy collapsed, then you can see that this is entirely possible.  People are far from wedded to traditional currency.

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Many people are speculating that Bitcoin will continue to rise and when that happens then it means that its value will increase at least in the short term.

Ether has seen a staggering 3000% rise this year.  Some companies appear to be holding their currency rather spending it which would naturally place an upward pressure on its value.

Obviously, there is no guarantee with investments, they can always deteriorate in value.

This story has some way to go but you are right to be keeping up to date with this issue.  Not only is worth understanding Bitcoin and Etherium because of the ways in which you might be affected in the future there is also the possibility of investing in these currencies for you to consider. Which you can now do because you are now up to speed with the subject.

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