Learning About Cryptocurrencies

Onovu Otitigbe-Dangerfield, Staff Writer

Cryptocurrency, is a term we’ve all heard but very few of us understand. Sometimes referred to as virtual currencies, this form of transaction lives online and is not supported by the government, rather their respective networks.

The straightforward definition for cryptocurrencies are restricted entries in a database. These entries are secured with math rather than people, and in order to change them specific conditions must be met. A lot of times, the terminology you hear along with cryptocurrency is peer to peer networks. A main reason cryptocurrency is utilized is to prevent double entry. For example, every time a bitcoin is sent to “Sara”, that transaction is created and sent as a restricted entry. Usually such transactions would be monitored by a central server but crypto eliminates the need for that middle man.

The peer to peer network provides a history of all the entries made within the network and gives a balance of every account. This is what cryptocurrency for dummies had to say on the subject: “Cryptocurrencies are generated by the network in most cases to incentivize the peers, also known as nodes and miners, to work to secure the network and check entries.” Each network has a unique way of generating them and distributing them to the peers. Bitcoin, for example, rewards peers (known as miners on the Bitcoin network) for “solving the next block.” A block is a group or entries. The solving is finding a hash that connects the new block with the old one. This is where the term blockchain came from. The block is the group of entries, and the chain is the hash. Hashes are a type of cryptologic puzzle.

That all sounds great but why should you care? Cryptocurrencies vary, but the all share these characteristics. They’re irreversible. Anonymous, fast and globally acceptable and are incredibly secure. It’s the wave of the future, and like all innovation if you don’t jump on the wagon you’ll be left behind. Economic hardships, market volatility and political unrest are factors that contribute to a fluctuated fiat currency.

Cryptocurrency solves the issue of government involvement allowing the market to work on its own. As this growing fad is accepted by new markets, it will surely take a grander scale on our society. Don’t miss the revolution!