We all have that crazy neighbor down the road who’s been yelling at us to buy Bitcoin. And though they might be crazy, it’s not crazy to predict Bitcoin is a once in a lifetime opportunity
My name is Nicholas Merten, and I’m the founder of DataDash, the largest cryptocurrency channel on YouTube.
The revolution of cryptocurrencies has captivated and encouraged me to spread the word of this movement.
With over six years of experience investing in traditional markets, I took my skill sets to the forefront of the fast-paced cryptocurrency industry which is changing the way we think about money and technology.
So, how did I get to where I am today, and in simple terms, what is cryptocurrency?
It was the middle of November in 2011, and at a young age, I began asking a lot of questions.
I started to challenge economics, government, and global markets. And it seemed like every time I asked a question, the answer always led back to money.
This propelled me to the logical conclusion of truly understanding money, rather than focusing on how to simply make it.
As I learned about the financial structure of the world, what I thought was going to be a boring topic at first, turned into the most interesting time of my life.
I couldn’t stop reading books and watching documentaries on the topic. But as I’ve come to learn more about its origin, I’ve found that money, along with the banks who create it, are flawed.
What made me even more upset than anything was the lack of any solution to this overwhelming issue.
Well, in search of that answer, I was inevitably led to discovering the unavoidable topic of modern headlines; Bitcoin.
I was searching through YouTube.com and found a video titled, “What is Bitcoin?”.
Keep in mind, this happened before all of the excitement that came in 2013, and the price of a single Bitcoin was right around $3.
No one really knew what it was or what its technology was capable of at the time. FYI, a single Bitcoin is now worth $5,400!
What is Cryptocurrency?
So you might have heard about Bitcoin, Ethereum, or one of the many other “cryptocurrencies” during this past year as they’ve swamped the headlines. And there’s good reason for it.
Whereas Bitcoin is being named the digital gold of the internet and Ethereum is being called the world computer, many out there truly don’t understand what makes these digital currencies so important.
So, why are individuals so optimistic about these virtual forms of payment? It has to do with the technology that they all have in common; blockchain. But what exactly is blockchain?
Have you ever seen the spectacular visualization of a global network? Lines crossing the world to different computers, phones, tablets, and data centers. It’s something to marvel, and one in which many still can’t grasp.
If you’re wondering what the blockchain looks like in a visual sense, this is a great starting point. But what is a blockchain, truly, by definition?
“Blockchain is a type of distributed ledger or decentralized database that keeps records of digital transactions. Rather than having a central administrator like a traditional database, (think banks, governments & accountants), a distributed ledger has a network of replicated databases, synchronized via the internet and visible to anyone within the network.” – Ethereum Blog
That might be an overload, so let’s break it down into more simple terms.
In the modern world of finance, people conduct financial transactions through banks. Whether it’s money transferring between two parties, storing money in accounts, or really any type of transaction, each activity needs to be recorded on a bank’s ledger in order to confirm that transaction.
This takes much more time, resources, and security than you might think. But how else would we be able to record all our financial transactions?
Well, blockchain fixes this and takes less time, resources, and security to operate.
Remember that analogy we talked about; referring to the blockchain being visualized as an integrated network of computers communicating across the globe?
Well, it’s not to far off, and each computer is playing a role in doing what the banks struggle to conduct on a daily basis. There are two roles that an individual can serve as inside Bitcoin’s blockchain.
How It Works
First, each person who wishes to transfer Bitcoin must sync with the Blockchain, downloading the history of the network. This means that everyone has a up-to-date public record of Bitcoin’s transaction history.
They do this by downloading the previous blocks (data sets) of transactions that have happened in the past.
As more and more people connect to the network and make transactions, it becomes even more impossible for someone to create Bitcoin out of thin air.
The second role an individual can serve under is a “miner”. Now, I know what you’re thinking, and no, there’s no need to pick up a hard helmet and pickaxe.
Mining is used as a metaphor to help understand the process of creating new Bitcoin, as well as verifying transactions.
Miners, who use graphics processing units (GPUs) or application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) run complicated math equations to generate new Bitcoins, all while processing transactions on the network using information from the public ledger.
This gives miners an incentive to keep the network running fast and healthy, helping transactions transfer in less than 10-15 minutes.
And seeing as Bitcoin will never have more than 21 million in circulation, mining requires more computing power to generate the same number of Bitcoins over time, giving more value to the coin and more power to process transactions over the network as it expands.
For example, the first coin I mined was Dogecoin, a digital currency built off an internet meme.
These two roles help make Bitcoin, and all other coins based on blockchain, a decentralized network with determined rules. This solves the issue of traditional money, which is run by a central authority.
I know, blockchain can be confusing. I would guess that over 90% of people will never truly understand how it works, but we will all benefit from it in the near future in one way or another. What’s important to understand is that it’s a game changer.
By embracing blockchain technology, we’re cutting costs, increasing security, building a more connected world, and opening new opportunities. Some of those new opportunities are coming in the form of ICOs.
Initial coin offerings (ICOs)
These are a brand new way cryptocurrencies are expanding technological innovation in the space of blockchain.
In an ICO, individuals can participate by investing their Ethereum or Bitcoin into a given project, and in return, are granted a certain amount of the new cryptocurrency that is created for the project their investing in.
The core technology of blockchain can be scaled to a variety of industries, and institutional money is starting to see the potential. Money raised for ICOs has surpassed $2.8 billion dollars, more than early stage VC funding.
The new phenomena has tapped a variety of industries, decentralizing a wide range of technologies such as cloud computing, supply chain management, and even web hosting.
This means we can partake in hosting websites, storing data for others, and practically run our own savings account all on our own personal computers, tablets, and phones. How awesome is that?
The Future of Cryptocurrency
The future is looking bright for cryptocurrency, and whereas many have stayed weary of the technology due to the fear-driven headlines printed by news outlets, many are starting to see the grand potential of blockchain and cryptocurrencies.
Bitcoin and it’s core technology, blockchain, are said by many to be the greatest technological innovations since the Internet, and seeing as it’s only been around since 2009, there’s no telling what the future holds.
Thanks to this technology, I can say with confidence that our world will be more connected, secure, and prosperous than we’ve ever seen. This is just the beginning to a grand revolution in human history.
Now, you’re probably wondering how ClickUp relates to cryptocurrency. Well, they don’t, (except for the fact that they’re both revolutionary)! I’m your passionate content creator by day, and crypto guru at night. And much like blockchain, I see the potential of project management software growing in the future.