Cryptocurrency: Yay or Nay?

Cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, have had a roller-coaster past year or so. It seemed that they could do no wrong in 2017, with Bitcoin leading the way with a $20,000 USD valuation per token at one point in December. The price plummeted from there, as Bitcoin struggled to maintain a value of $3,500 by December of 2018. Crypto enthusiasts still believe in the underlying technology, while opponents cite the recent trend as evidence that the bubble has burst. In truth, most people do not know enough about cryptocurrencies to truly count themselves as advocates or opponents. The following article aims to present both sides of the debate without bias, allowing you to decide for yourself whether digital currencies are the future of commerce or a passing fad. The case for cryptocurrency Supporters of cryptocurrency and its underlying blockchain technology cite numerous arguments for their position. One of the most popular is that cryptocurrency is decentralized, meaning that there is no government or financial institution manipulating its value behind the scenes. This allows the free market to value tokens however it wants to, a far more democratic approach to finance. The decentralized nature of cryptographic tokens also means that hackers have no central hub to get millions of people’s worth of financial information in one shot. All cryptocurrency transactions are recorded on a public ledger called a blockchain. Volunteer “miners” use powerful computers to make sure that new transactions are valid according to what came before them, making the blockchain virtually hack-proof. The blockchain can also facilitate financial features that competing money systems cannot keep up with. For instance, Ethereum’s blockchain is programmable. This allows developers to all work to improve one existing system rather than each devising their own, creating one central hub for technological innovation. One of the coolest
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