Posts tagged Money

Bitcoin – What It Is And Why It Isn’t Ready

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Personally, I see Bitcoin as a interesting concept, but isn’t near close to a time where it can be used in everyday life. In case you don’t know, Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency, and the first of it’s kind. It’s a currency that is completely web based, and has absolutely no intrinsic value. If the value of bitcoin falls, you lose your money. The good side of Bitcoin is that, as I said, it is completely web based, and there is no way for when transferring Bitcoins for for any bank or system to play with it. It goes straight into the other person’s account, excluding taxes. Also, although this can be interpreted any way, but the way Bitcoin is created will gradually fall, making the amount of Bitcoins available for use the same from 2025 onward. When 2025 hits, no more Bitcoins will be produced, meaning no matter how many people are using Bitcoin the number of Bitcoins will always be the same after that.

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So that sounds great, but the cons on Bitcoin are substantial. To recap, the main goal that fueled the creation of Bitcoin was to make a currency that can be regularly used. Unfortunately, the problem with that is that 3 years ago, Bitcoin was worth 5 US dollars. Now it’s worth 445 US dollars. At least, that’s how much the select Bitcoin traders will give you. At one point, it was worth 1,200 dollars. With all the fluctuations in the price, with a uphill trend, who knows what the price will be. But if I had bought 3 Bitcoins back in 2011 for $15 and now they’re worth $1,500, I wouldn’t sell them. Or maybe I would. That’s the problem, they’re turning into a long term investment instead of a currency.

As the video above says, some people believe that the uses of Bitcoin isn’t apparent to us now, just as people in the 80s didn’t think that anyone needed computers to live a normal life. That is certainly possible, but it’s my opinion that in the current state of the system, it isn’t good enough to benefit society in a big way.

Also, there are some other problems, such as the theoretical ability to hack into your online wallet, or even the Bitcoin server, and steal the Bitcoins of many people. Sure, maybe the Bitcoin encryptions are good, but it’s hard to trust a online currency with all the hacking going on around us all the time. Sure, maybe the Bitcoin encryptors are a step ahead of the hackers, but I wouldn’t bank my life’s savings on it.Along with that, a secret key, or passcode, is used to verify access to all of your Bitcoins. If someone finds out your password, they can spent, transferred, or anything.

 

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Yet another design flaw is that Bitcoin isn’t really designed to be a currency, even though the creators want it to be. The reason for this is that the people who benefit the most from using Bitcoin isn’t small selection of people who actively use Bitcoin at the small selection of online and concrete stores, but the people who hold their Bitcoin, and who use it as a long-term investment. Again, this is a concept. If Bitcoin, or another virtual currency like it has a chance of becoming popular it has to find a way to reward the regular user, which will certainly take a lot of innovating and reiteration of the basic coding and structure of Bitcoin itself.

I’m still skeptical, as I expect everyone will be when adopting this type of money.  But, there may be a time when Bitcoin is ready to be used. Maybe, the amount of Bitcoins released will work out, the kinks in the system will run smoothly, the encryption is unhackable (something that will certainly take many years and be a big step forward for cryptography), the cons of the system replaced with more pros, and everyone will accept it. Just maybe. (see optimistic video above)

TOTW: Coin, The Credit Card Reinvented

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Wallets these days are getting bigger and bigger. More cards, ranging from gift cards to credit cards, and more cash have been appearing in wallets everywhere. Minimalism has been a big trend these days, especially in Kickstarter, with many many minimalist wallets coming to market. That may be good for some of us, but I know for a fact I need all the things in my wallet and can’t just give up one. Cards, the item which takes up the most space, are unfortunately the most important part of a wallet. You can’t just leave them out. But the creators of Coin came up with a new way to slim you wallet.

Coin is a card. But it isn’t just any card. It looks like a regular card from the back, with fine print and a bar to sign on, but on the front, it looks very odd. That’s because it is completely devoid of numbers or logos or anything to identify it as Chase or Wells Fargo. On the front, there is a screen and a circle underneath. That’s it. Coin can afford to do this because it isn’t a credit or debit card for any particular company. It’s one card for all, and all cards for one.

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That’s what makes coin special. The one card can be used as any card, of any type. Even membership cards. To add a card, just open Coin’s application and insert coins card reader, and swipe. The card will then be visible in the tiny screen on the card when you hit the button. You can scroll through the different cards, and when you find the one you can to use, you can just swipe. To make it easy, you can have the card say “shop”, “work”, or “starbucks”(for gift cards) so that you don’t have to figure out which card to use.

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Not only does Coin slim you wallet, but it also alerts your phone when your Coin is not near you, averting situations with lost wallets. The Auto-Lock feature even disables Coin when you are not near or left it behind. Really, this is a product Coin is a product that is so practical anyone could benefit from it. Even if you only use one or two cards anyway, the Auto-Lock feature is the key to everything. Some new technology is really not necessary to the average consumer until it is more developed, but if it works like they say it will, and it most likely will, Coin is one of the most useful and self-assuring product I have ever seen.

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