Striplv Magazine - The Sexiest Magazine on the Planet, Issue 0318

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Page 36 of 79

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT BITCOIN AND CRYPTOCURRENCIES BY Howard T. Brody What is Bitcoin? Is it money? Is it like a stock? Where does it come from? Why has it gone up in value? How can you buy and sell them? Where can you buy and sell them? Is it a scam? Why are so many people making money from it? Understanding The Basics For starters, Bitcoin is not an actual coin. As a matter of fact, it has no physical properties at all so you cannot actually hold one. Bitcoin is also not a stock nor is it a commodity. Bitcoin is a Cryptocurrency. And to fully understand what a Bitcoin is, you first need to know and understand what a Cryptocurrency is. It sounds complicated, but it’s not. Just follow along. Cryptocurrencies, which are also known as digital currencies, are a form of digital public money that is made up of lines of computer code that hold monetary values. These lines of code are created by high-performance computers that use a lot of electricity to do complex mathematical computations. The lines of code are monitored and verified by millions of computer users who are called “miners.” This massive network of people who contribute their personal computers to the Cryptocurrency networks act as a swarm of ledger keepers and auditors for all transactions. Miners are paid for their accounting work by earning new Cryptocurrencies for each week they contribute to the network. Cryptocurrency is a compound word comprised of the words currency and cryptography. Cryptography is the security process that is used to protect the transactions that send out the lines of code for purchases. Cryptography also controls the process behind the creation of new “coins,” which is the term that is used to describe specific amounts of code. Unlike U.S. dollars and other regulated currencies, the creation of Cryptocurrencies are not overseen or controlled by any government, which is what made Cryptocurrencies so popular, to begin with. Most Cryptocurrencies start with a pre-determined market cap, which means that their production will dwindle over time, theoretically making that particular Cryptocurrency more valuable as time goes on. What Are Bitcoins? Bitcoin was the first Cryptocurrency ever created. While no one knows exactly who invented it, since Cryptocurrencies, in general, are designed to give users maximum anonymity, they first appeared in 2009 from a Japanese developer named Satoshi Nakamoto, who has since vanished but supposedly left behind a Bitcoin fortune. Many “miners” and Cryptocurrency gurus believe Nakamoto was a ruse; a ploy to hide the real inventor’s identity. In November 2017 a wild rumor began circulating that billionaire CEO Elon Musk of Tesla and SpaceX was the actual inventor of Bitcoin. A former SpaceX intern named Sahil Gupta wrote a blog post in which he claimed that Musk was “probably” the inventor of the Cryptocurrency because of his deep understanding of economics and cryptography, his grip on advanced coding languages and the fact he is a “polymath” – a person whose expertise spans a significant number of different subject areas drawing on complex bodies of knowledge to solve specific problems. Musk said this was untrue and that he had actually lost some Bitcoin a friend had sent to him some years ago because he doesn’t know where it is. Because Bitcoin was the first Cryptocurrency to exist, all digital currencies created after it are sometimes called Altcoins, short for alternative coins. There are more than 800 different Cryptocurrencies now available with some of the more popular being Dash (formerly known as Darkcoin), Ethereum, Litecoin, Monero, Ripple and Zcash.

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