What is Cryptocurrency?

By: SMITH THOMPSON

What is Cryptocurrency? and why it’s way easier to get started than you may have been led to believe

“This may be the purest form of democracy the world has ever known, and I — for one — am thrilled to be here to watch it unfold.” – Paco Ahlgren

“With e-currency based on cryptographic proof, without the need to trust a third party middleman, money can be secure and transactions effortless.” – Satoshi Nakamoto

As a self-proclaimed crypto-zealot, I’m often asked a myriad of questions regarding blockchain and cryptocurrencies. Most people are mildly curious. Some are skeptical. Then there’s the few bright-eyed newcomers that don’t know much, but can discern the inevitably approaching economic revolution, and they want to be a part of it. No matter the individual or their level of interest, inevitably one of the first questions is: What is cryptocurrency? What is the blockchain?

“Blockchain is the tech. Bitcoin is merely the first mainstream manifestation of its potential.” – Marc Kenigsberg

Though I’d love to compress countless hours of research into a nicely wrapped, pint-sized soundbite, that’s not quite the way it works. I’ll include the technical definition of blockchain at the end of this article but for now, take a look at this quote for instance: “Cryptography has generated number theory, algebraic geometry over finite fields, algebra, combinatorics and computers.” – Vladimir Arnold Huh?!?! Umm, come again please… Not exactly something that most will fully comprehend in passing verbal badminton set or over a cup of afternoon tea.

A comprehensive understanding of the inner workings of blockchain and crypto requires a near genius level grasp of highly complex algorithms, coding and programs. Not to mention, a staggering amount of time to read, research, digest and test all the various components. A fact that has kept the great majority of the world’s population steering wide clear or at very least “on the fence” about the whole crypto-hullabaloo for years now.

Gladly, I’m here to say, that is absolutely not the case when it comes to simply using this brilliant and highly complex fusion of cryptography and economics.

Case and point: Do we require an in-depth understanding of our cellphone in order to use it? Do we know where the circuit boards are placed and why? If we were given all the components and tools necessary to build a TV, would we know how to do it? Does our inability to assemble our own TV set interfere with our ability to enjoy it? Of course not! And the same is true of nearly all technologies we use today.

Etalon | Global | What Is Cryptocurrency?

Do we understand all the back-end infrastructure and technical requirements necessary to make PayPal work? Yet we can still send a buck to the babysitter with the press of a button, right?

It would be absurd to spend years learning all about coding, programing, software, hardware integration… etc.. before making your first computer purchase. It’s the same way with blockchain and cryptocurrencies. Knowing all about the technology operating inside your computer has little to do with your ability to use it.

The usability differences between the DVD players of yesteryear, and the new-fandangle Blu-ray players of today are negligible. Power on/off, Play, Fast-forward, Stop, Rewind, etc… function exactly the same from one device to the next. A change in manufacturer or model does not require a completely new skill set or understanding to operate.

Right now cryptocurrency feels like the Internet before the browser.” – Wences Casares

“Economists and journalists often get caught up in this question: Why does crypto have value? And the answer is very easy. Because it is useful and scarce.” – Erik Voorhees

Knowing all the intricacies of this new cryptocurrency and blockchain technology is no longer
necessary in order to benefit from its use.

That said, I must admit that much of the industry is fraught with overly complicated programs and applications. This is due to nothing more than haste and/or laziness on the part of the creators of these projects. If these programmers had spent the sufficient time and energy in construction on their projects, they would, by design, have made them easy to use. As the saying goes, “If I had more time I would have written a shorter letter” Winston Churchill

In other words, it takes far more time and effort to make something simple than to leave it in its naturally complicated state. Unfortunately, a sentiment has developed in the fringe “crypto-hype community” which has been largely responsible for stunting the growth of this powerful innovation. It goes something like this: “spend 15 mins spit balling an idea, get to market as quick as possible, see how much we can crowd-fund with gimmicks & hype, and then determine how to build our concept and make it practically consumable to the end-user.” (if that last part ever comes into play at all)

This is in stark contrast to the legitimate teams out there diligently committed to enhancing and testing their concepts and ideas. Constantly molding, tweaking and reworking them to perfection before offering their innovations to the public.

“Bitcoin is a technological tour de force. The future of money is digital currency.” Bill Gates

Luckily, we are reaching a point where enough crypto-projects match the description above and are producing solid, user-friendly experiences to their customers. We now stand on the cusp of realizing a long-held vision where the ease-of- use in cryptocurrencies is nearly the same, and in many ways far superior, to that of the fiat monetary systems we are all accustomed to using now.

Despite the genius-level complexities found in the protocols and algorithms that make blockchain & cryptocurrencies work, the end user will soon exchange value & buy goods or services in much the same manner as they’ve done for the past decade of online transactions.

Already, a staggering percentage of “traditional” non-crypto transactions take place strictly online, with no physical paper or coins exchanged. Consider how much of our own monthly expenses are actually transacted in physical fiat currency? The % is tiny and as more and more businesses and consumers are attracted to the enormous advantages of conducting business online, that number will continue to grow smaller every day.

Widespread adoption of cryptocurrencies for purchase of goods & services will no longer require the enormous learning curve or huge stretch from our comfort zone that we’ve struggled with up until now.

Some companies are pushing the envelop to bring a more crisp and clean user experience to the market. Tigereum is one such company. Allowing users to send crypto to friends and family via social media messaging, regardless of the recipients understanding or involvement in the crypto-scape. Making it easier than ever before for the average “non-techie” person to take advantage of the tremendous benefits associated with blockchain & crypto-commerce.

“Cryptocurrency is Cash with Wings” – Charlie Shrem

“The reason we’re all here is that the current financial system is outdated.” Charlie Shrem

Another stick of dynamite primed to explode onto the crypto scene is Etalon. www.etalonglobal.com Unlike the “crypto-hype” guys referenced above, they have spent an entire year in development prior to going to market. Committed to building a fully functional suite of products and services before engaging with the public, Etalon has definitely taken the Winston Churchill approach: spending the necessary time and energy to craft a working masterpiece, rather than taking a paper-napkin idea to ICO.

Much more than just a pretty white paper or flashy website, Etalon pushes the boundaries of innovation while providing tangible, real-world solutions that bridge the gap between our current reality and the future. What they have built is well ahead of the most advanced capabilities of enterprise finance, ensuring a more simplified & intuitive user experience.

Etalon has created the world’s first seamlessly integrated, end-to- end payment gateway, capable of initiating, processing and settling transactions on a mobile device. Combining this game-changing tech with a mobile wallet, exchange, credit card, unequalled security protocols & asset class backing, creates an environment ripe for the swift and massive adoption of cryptocurrency in our daily lives.

No longer does one need to sift through hours and hours of mind-numbing techno-jargon with a cipher to be able to take part in the cryptocurrency revolution. The arduous work has been done for us. All that’s left for you to do is: #pushplay

“Someday consumers and businesses won’t hold Bitcoins for their account but will unknowingly access the Bitcoin network whenever payments are made.” – Paul Vigna

****Technically, blockchain is: a continuously growing list of blocks, which are linked and secured using cryptography. Each block contains a cryptographic hash of the previous block with a timestamp and is inherently resistant to modification of the data. It is an open, distributed ledger, managed by a peer-to- peer network collectively adhering to a protocol for inter-node communication and validating new blocks which cannot be altered retroactively without the alteration of all subsequent blocks, requiring collusion of the network majority. (Source https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blockchain)

https://www.etalonglobal.com/cryptocurrency-article-may9th

 

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