If you recall in 2021, cryptocurrencies and Bitcoin in particular were all the rage in investing. People were investing all of their government checks to buy crypto. By the end of 2022, all of the coins had crashed and a market with over $3 trillion in total value collapsed to less than $1 trillion. So, what is cryptocurrency and why should you invest today? The following is a breakdown of what crypto is based on and why it will be an important part of the future of investing.
Imagine if you will a technology whereby transactions are recorded and no one can EVER change those transactions once they are recorded. What kind of transactions would this include? Let’s say for example, you go to a bank and withdraw $100 from your account with a balance of $1,000. You would have $900 left in your account. That is a single transaction that can never be changed or edited. This would be important right? What if someone found a way to change that transaction to a withdrawal of $800? Now, through no fault of your own, your bank account shows a balance of $200 instead of $900. Now, using that same logic, let’s say you purchased a Louis Vitton purse for $3,000 and you received a letter of authenticity and maybe a number for the purse. Well, let’s say there was a technology that tracked the ownership of that purse and, through that technology, you could track the number on the purse from when it was manufactured to your purchase. Now, that specific number proves that you are the first owner of the purse. Now, let’s say you sell that purse to another person who could also track that specific number to you as the buyer and verify the purse was authentic. Would that be valuable? You know that you purchased a legitimate product and tracking shows where that product came from and could provide authenticity to the next person who bought it and, the best part, no one could ever hack the software that provides the history of that product. This is what blockchain programming is capable of.
BLOCKCHAIN PROGRAMMING DEFINITION
The definition of blockchain programming is, “Blockchain is a distributed ledger technology that allows multiple parties to securely and transparently record transactions in a decentralized and tamper-proof manner. The technology is based on a chain of blocks, where each block contains a record of transactions that is verified and added to the chain through a consensus mechanism.” This sounds pretty technical but basically, this states that the technology of transactions can’t be hacked or changed and is also housed in a decentralized manner. What does decentralized mean? This means no one controls the data on the blockchain. For instance, when you withdraw $100 from your bank account at Chase Bank, ONLY Chase Bank records and has access to that transaction information. No one can see the transaction information except you and officials at Chase Bank. With blockchain programming, the transactions are all on a public database. Now, the transactions themselves do not have identifiers (like who the people are behind the transactions), but they do show transaction IDs that show what the transaction is.
In a blockchain, each block contains a cryptographic hash of the previous block, which creates a link between them and ensures the integrity of the chain. The blocks are distributed across a network of nodes, which work together to validate new transactions and add them to the blockchain. Blockchain technology was initially developed for the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, but it has since been adopted for a wide range of applications, including supply chain management, voting systems, and smart contracts. Its decentralized and transparent nature makes it particularly useful for applications where trust and security are paramount.
WHAT ARE CRPYTO CURRENCIES
Now that you understand what blockchain programming is, we can discuss crypto currencies. Basically, the blockchain programming allows people to create software programs and apps that use the blockchain process as a basis for their programs. The most obvious use for blockchain programming is for financial transactions. How long does it take to wire money? If it’s before 1pm, you might get a wire confirmation in minutes or hours and there is almost always a fee to send the wire. After a certain hour, wires don’t process until the next day. With blockchain programming, you can transfer funds in seconds. And you don’t have to pay a bank or 3rd party to wire the funds for you. You can send currency directly to another party. At this time, you can’t send US Dollars using blockchain so you need a cryptocurrency if you want to send money to someone. How does this work? You can open an account at a Crypto exchange like Binance.us. Once your account is open and verified, you can connect to a normal bank account and deposit money. Let’s say for example you deposit $1,000 from your bank to your crypto account. Now, you have $1,000 USD in your account at Binance.us. From there, you need to BUY crypto currencies if you want to send to someone else. One crypto currency you can buy is USDT (Tether) which is a cryptocurrency pegged to the US Dollar so 1 tether = $1 in US. If you buy $1,000 worth of Tether, you would have $1,000 worth of Tether. Now, you can send that to someone else and their crypto account and they can withdraw that to their bank if they want. It would take you seconds to transfer the money.
WHY ARE THERE SO MANY CRPYTO CURRENCIES
Outside of financial transactions, there are thousands of programmers creating new programs that use blockchain programming processes. These programmers are creating their own projects to help society in a number of different ways. Now, in order to finance these projects and their work, these programmers have created their own “coins” or their own cryptocurrencies to raise money and that will be used for people who want to use their software. So, in other words, a programmer wants to create a project to track the ownership of a home. This project will let people or banks transfer title to a property using this software and no one can change the registry. In order to create the software, the programmer creates a new crypto coin called “TITLECOIN”. The programmers release 1 million TITLECOINS at $1 each. People think the project is going to be huge so 1 million buy the coins at $1 each and now the programmers have $1 million to build their software. Once the project is completed, people who use the software will have to use TITLECOINS as a fee to use the software. So, let’s say every Title transfer costs 5 Titlecoins. People will have to buy the coins to use the project. Understanding this, people think the TITLECOIN project is going to be huge and can trade the TITLECOINS on multiple exchanges and instead of $1, the demand goes up and now people are paying $2 – $3 for the coins. Now, if you can imagine how many projects can be developed, you can see why so many coins are being created.
On top of specific projects like the above, some companies are creating easy to use platforms whereby multiple programmers are creating different projects. Those companies and their platforms issue their owns coins that are required to use their platforms. What does this mean? Let’s take for example your cell phone. Odds are you have a phone that uses Google App Store (Android) or an iPhone that uses the Apple Store. That’s it. There are two main platforms that are available for programmers who create different Apps. In the blockchain space, there are a lot more than 2 players and companies are fighting for programmers to use their platforms for their blockchain software. Some examples of platforms are Ethereum, Cardano, Polka Dot and Solana.
SHOULD YOU INVEST?
The blockchain programming industry is just like the internet in 2000. We all knew the internet was going to change people’s lives and people put money into anything internet until the crash. Then, the real businesses began to evolve. Unfortunately, some of the major players of the time didn’t last long. Think Netscape, Yahoo! or AOL. Blockchain programming is very similar and the platforms I mentioned above may or may not make up. Some blockchain programs will become the next Google and some will be the next Yahoo! It is hard to determine the best ones, but my opinion is the major platforms (like Ethereum) won’t go away and Bitcoin is being purchased by institutions and they won’t likely let it go away so it’s worth putting some of your portfolio into cryptocurrency.