Showing posts from December, 2016

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10 things you should know about Bitcoin and digital currencies

Bitcoin has injected itself into a lot of conversations about the future of technology, economics, and the internet. The future of digital currencies remains a controversial topic. After reading these 10 things to know about the confusing world of digital currencies, you'll feel confident joining the conversation.

1. The difference between virtual, digital, and cryptocurrencies

Virtual currencies were developed because of trust issues with financial institutions and digital transactions. Though they aren't even considered to be "money" by everyone, virtual currencies are independent of traditional banks and could eventually pose competition for them.

First, there are three terms that are sometimes used interchangeably that we need to sort out: virtual currency, digital currency, and cryptocurrency.

Virtual currency was defined in 2012 by the European Central Bank as "a type of unregulated, digital money, which is issued and usually controlled by its developers, and …

The Folly of Digital Money, the Lasting Value of Gold

Progress isn't always...well...progress.

Take what we use for our money, for example.

Who, today, doesn't employ a "symbolic" form of money, a credit or ATM card, several times a week (not to mention a day)? These digital transactions, though convenient, don't actually represent the transfer of physical cash from one hand to another. Instead, and in reality, electronic digits are the only things that are getting transferred.

And not from one hand to another, but from one computer to another.

Consider this cautionary tale. A bank customer - let's call him Dave - had accumulated 175,000 "bonus points" due to his bank credit card purchases. These points qualified Dave to buy, or in bank terms exchange, points for a variety of valuable goods (kind of like a frequent flyer program). He was all set to go.

At least until a controversy involving real money arose. Dave had wanted a top-of-the line gold watch valued at 200,000 points. He needed only 25,000 additio…