May 09, 2021
5 mins read
As a person with very little programming experience, I interact with many people from time to time who are on the curb regarding Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies. One of the most valid statements and questions I get are "I just can't seem to get my head around it", "What is this crypto and blockchain thing?", "Why should I invest in something I cannot tangibly hold?" and "How does cryptocurrency equate to money?".
Well, as you can see, the above are all very valid questions and as such, I have sometimes endeavored to answer, but most times, I have aborted that act by instead pointing them to referenced information online where the digital gurus know much, much, much more than I can ever begin to explain in this space. But in doing so...
... I have come to have a more simple understanding - one that does not over complicate or mystify the basis of this new digital age we have found ourselves expanding in. I have come to realize some key factors of what I can honestly state in very simplistic terms and comparisons of what the Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies are to my understanding and I have decided to share them with you here.
All Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies are based on Code
What is Code?
Code is the basis of every visual and audio representation on our computers, mobile phones and other digital devices. For example, when you see the text that I have written here in this platform "buymeacoffee", it is in actuality programmable code being represented as text, however, it is running in the background of my screen within this online platform "buymeacoffee"...all via the internet as code.
ok, do you get the above so far? If not, read it again until you do.
Simplicity is the whole point to this break down.
So just as this platform is running off of CODE via the Internet, this is the same way the BLOCKCHAIN and CRYPTOCURRENCIES are created and function off of the INTERNET.
However, it is worth noting here from Investopedia, that even though the Blockchain is created via CODE, it is in actuality a specific type of database.
What is a database then?
As briefly described by ORACLE, a company that creates and manipulates data stored in databases, "A database is an organized collection of structured information, or data, typically stored electronically in a computer system."
So now How is the BLOCK CHAIN specific?
It is specific in that it is a different kind of database in the way it stores information.
Blockchains store data in blocks which are linked or chained together hence the term, BLOCK CHAIN So as new data is entered, it is stored as a new block and once this block is filled with data, it is then chained onto the previous block, in a chronological order.
It is worth noting as well that there are different types of information which can be stored on a Blockchain but the most common use so far has been as a LEDGER for recording transactions.
In BITCOIN's case, Blockchain is used in a DECENTRALIZED way so that NO SINGLE PERSON or GROUP has control - rather, all users collectively retain control. Decentralized Blockchains are immutable, which means that the data entered is irreversible. For Bitcoin, this means that TRANSACTIONS ARE PERMANENTLY RECORDED and viewable to anyone.
Why should I invest in something I cannot tangibly hold then?
To answer this sincerely, since I am not a financial advisor, I would say YOU DO NOT HAVE TO INVEST IN IT; However, what I would say is this. It pays to have a diversified portfolio at all times. My personal reasoning behind investing in a SPECULATIVE MARKET, which I believe STOCKS AND SHARES AND CRYPTOCURRENCIES are based, is because I can attain strategic gains based solely on my input and leverage in ways I see fit.
Let us look at the Internet and why you should hold some of this digital gold and more.
Do you remember a time when the internet wasn't all that? It was slow and you couldn't do much transactions within the minimal graphical user interfaced browsers. Now fast forward and in the space of about 20 years, the technology has literally rocketed to some high destinations. It seems what was once unimaginable, is now imaginable! This is the phase we are at people. We are at a time when programming technology on, above and outside the blockchain is so advanced that the genie is literally outside the box. This should give you a moment to pause in awe! You see, with the blockchain, there is no one centralized storage so no one country or countries can control it. What makes however bitcoin unique is because of its finite capacity. It has been programmed to produce only a set supply of bitcoins in its lifespan and that is why it is called digital gold. Other cryptocurrencies and or alt coins have different functions but all in all, each one tends to have credence based on its followers of which there are many being added each day. In essence, the blockchain has literally began producing digital economies worldwide. Some can enable you to gain wealth whilst enjoying their unique blockchain functionalities.
How can Cryptocurrencies be money?
To answer the above, we have to first ask ourselves, what is money? And my simplified answer to that is that money is anything you can exchange for something you need or want. It is a form of barter. Not the fiat or cash coins and dollars/pounds/yen etc that you hold in your hand or bank. It is what someone is willing to accept as a form of exchange for an item(s), services and products. We live in a world where cash and credit reigns, but extract those from the equation and just pause again in thought and think for a bit, if you did not have any, what would you and others like you do to live? Well the same applies with cryptocurrencies, gold, skill sets, art, food etc. It is what is deemed as a valuable exchange in the barter concepts. We currently trade our time during working hours for cashttps://bit.ly/2RG7kW2h/digital cash. Believe it or not, some people exchange goods and services for various forms of cryptocurrencies. Another form of bartering called digital bartering.
So now that you hopefully have a better understanding of what the title is, go forth human beings and make your creative decisions plain. Whatever your decisions may be, just note that, we are already presently in a new digital economy and there is no going back.