Cryptocurrencies – Getting My Feet Wet

I was glad to see a lot of interest and follow up questions and comments from readers on the Blockchain post last week. As I mentioned in that post, I have been spending the better part of the summer reading voraciously and learning anything and everything I can on the topic. This area of technology has completely grasped my imagination and I cant help but try to make sense of things currently and envision what the future economies will look like. Rest assured, I think most industries will be disrupted – some for the better, some for the worse in the coming years/decades as the blockchain tech improves rapidly.

I’ve known about blockchains for a few years now, but never really took a deep dive as I had no vested interest. But now the technology has advanced quite a bit and so has the hype. To motivate myself to read and learn more, I started off earlier this summer with some skin-in-the-game. I decided to finally take a plunge and open a small investment in cryptocurrencies.

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What You Should Know About Bitcoin

The following is a guest post

All of a sudden, Bitcoin seems to be one of the hottest topics in investing. It’s not exactly new because it first emerged several years ago and has been gaining attention and influence ever since. But in the last 12 to 18 months people certainly seem to be starting to take it more seriously. Specifically, some are starting to address the idea of buying Bitcoin to fund retirement.

Whether or not this is a good idea isn’t a question you can answer by reading one article. Like most any other type of investment, buying Bitcoin carries some risk, and it shouldn’t be done lightly. But Bitcoin should be evaluated at least, given its growing significance both as a currency and a commodity. Given that, here are a few things you should know about it.

What Is It?

If you’re not sure about the answer to this question, don’t worry. A lot of people are still a little unclear on the details. Bitcoin is a complex concept, but not one that’s necessarily difficult to grasp. Basically, it’s a brand new currency that exists solely in digital form. There’s a finite amount of Bitcoin that can be generated (only 21 million), and it’s initially acquired via a mathematical “mining” process. But most people don’t really need to know about that part. What you need to know is that once it’s been mined, Bitcoin is out in the world and can be traded and stored as digital wealth. You can literally buy it with your own currency and use it to purchase goods and services at participating merchants. Or, if you wish, store it away on a safe digital platform as an investment to be sold later.

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