It's taken a while but I finally jumped into learning about Bitcoin and blockchain. It seems like a lot of people have made a lot of money as investors. I wonder how many have lost money? Anyway, it seems blockchain will be around for a long time to come, that it will be an integral part of the future. So I took the leap, signed up for a class or two.
Learning fast and furiously; still, there's a lot to learn and understand with regard to this technology that's no doubt here to stay. First, Bitcoin itself is what's called a cryptocurrency, and it's similar to traditional money but there's a big difference. It's digital, and it doesn't belong to any central authority. I like this, I'm a contrarian rebel and this suits me well.
Now, blockchain is the technology behind Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. If I understand it correctly the blockchain is stored on multiple computers, called nodes, located throughout the world. No authority can control or alter the blockchain as they are not stored in one place, but on multiple nodes or computers.
Bitcoin is one of many blockchains called cryptocurrency. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are called such, because they use cryptography to secure the currency. Cryptography itself is not new, but is used to ensure hackers don't steal the blockchain.
Basically all digital currencies use some form of blockchain, and all these currencies are encrypted using cryptography, so they are digitally secure. This is where the name cryptocurrency comes from. Bitcoin is one of the first, but not the very first cryptocurrencies to exist. A fellow by the name of Satoshi Nakamoto developed it in 2009. There were others before Bitcoin but they never caught on.
As well, any coin that is not a Bitcoin is called an Altcoin which means alternative coin. So, there exists either Bitcoin or Altcoins. But, there are tokens as well. Basically, that's the two things (as far as I know) that exist as cryptocurrencies: Coins and Tokens. Coins are either Bitcoin or Altcoin; Tokens are somewhat different.
Tokens are either usage tokens or work tokens. They are developed for a specific purpose. To me, this is an important difference in understand not only the functionality of cryptocurrencies but also investing in them. A while back I downloaded the Brave browser (brave.com), and discovered they offer a 'BAT' token. BAT stands for basic attention token. Brave is an adfree browser that pays out to publishers of websites and youtube channels BAT's when people like me visit their website or watch their YT video content. Which I believe to be a great idea.
Anyway, now I know this important difference between coins and tokens. I suspect this is important when choosing which cryptcurrency, if any, to invest in. I think that's enough for now. I will post more as I learn more (whether anyone tunes in or not).
Image: pexels.com by worldspectrum