Cryptocurrency seems to be buzzword of late, and I do like the idea behind it. There is a bit of rebellion there.
Cryptocurrencies found their first success in 2009 when bitcoin officially went live. The concept of bitcoin was introduced by the pseudonymous person or persons Satoshi Nakamoto.
The cryptocurrency also owes part of its success to the state of the world at that time. Many people were leery of banks after the financial crisis in 2008.
So for some, the line of thought was, if the current monetary system was in shambles, what’s so bad about creating a new one?
Street Fighter and Cryptocurrencies: An Unlikely Match
The idea behind cryptocurrencies also reminds me of a video game I used to play with my siblings growing up, Street Fighter II. The game featured fighters from around the world who would battle each other in the streets of different cities. Each player had a unique way of fighting.
While the game has nothing to do with cryptocurrencies, per se, here is the subtle parallel of cryptocurrencies to Street Fighter.
Both entities — Street Fighter and cryptocurrencies — solve problems in a seemingly unconventional way. One has fighters duking it out on the streets of random international cities. Hadouken! And the other says Sayonara to the traditional currency system to build one of its own.
Both Street Fighter and cryptocurrencies rebel against the status quo to solve an issue in a new way. Trouble settling a dispute? Ay, let’s brawl it out in a city of choice.
Trouble trusting that your money is in good hands, and always safe? Maybe bitcoin or ethereum is the answer.
So personal anecdote aside, here are a few questions in Q&A format with more information about cryptocurrencies, in case you are interested.
Cryptocurrencies: The Q&A
1. What is a cryptocurrency?
It is a digital currency made secure through cryptography. (Cryptography uses secret code to encrypt and decrypt data). (Source)
2. Isn’t bitcoin a cryptocurrency? What exactly is bitcoin?
Bitcoin is the first digital currency to succeed at getting rid of the need for a central authority. The users of the blockchain network, where bitcoin transactions take place, are the ‘authorities’ that confirm the validity of a transaction. Here is a great article in WIRED about bitcoin. (Source)
3. What are a few other types of cryptocurrencies?
Here goes another interesting term — altcoin. This term refers to a virtual currency that is an alternative to bitcoin. Altcoins include Litecoin, Ethereum, Dash, Ripple, Monero, to name a few. (Source)
The last question I guess I will ask you, the audience.
What's your take on cryptocurrencies? Are they something that you think will really change the way we think about and use money?