Two notes in one month. Only the most useful, relevant and practical entries on finance and money. If you like our notes, invite your friends to subscribe here.
Hot Topic in Finance
Industry conversations we think you should know.
You’re scrolling through your Twitter feed and you’re still beside yourself with laughter from a quirky reply from that funny tweep when your eyes fall on a tweet that reads “Knowing to buy crypto early enough alone would make you more than times 10 of $45m” and now your entire day is in the pits. You’re very close to screaming because apparently, everyone else but you seem to be on to this ‘crypto’ and it’s supposed to make you 10 times the amount of money you could only dream of? – this tweet just flat out screamed out your name and called you broke!
The obvious dirty shade aside, the real reason for your angst is that you probably don’t understand what cryptocurrency is and why has it been hot for the last couple of years.
Cryptocurrency basically is a virtual or digital currency, as opposed to Fiat currency (such as paper money and coins) which is the legal tender issued and authorised by the government.
Fiat currency requires middlemen, such as banks, and this is interesting to note because a unique feature of cryptocurrency is that it is decentralized – this means that it is not controlled by any individual; it is dependent on a technology called blockchain and this means that the record of transactions made is copied and distributed across several computers linked on the blockchain making hacking or manipulation next to impossible.
Why does it seem like everyone is getting into cryptocurrency?
It’s simple. The concept of money is rapidly changing. Transactions haven’t always been through money as we know it, trade systems such as barter trading where goods were exchanged based on the value they were perceived to carry were one of the earlier means. It so happens that as humans are given to change, the several systems aiding our survival go through evolutions of their own. This translates to fizzling out of old, outdated systems and in with the new and improved.
Crypto with its peculiarities seems to be able to give solutions to some pitfalls of government-regulated currencies, for example, eliminating the middleman which in return takes care of the potential trickery that could happen when individuals have controlling power and stakes. People now have control of their money, in contrast to being at the mercy of government policies that can be changed in an instant.
Examples of cryptocurrency include Bitcoin (the OG coin, “first of its name” and the most traded cryptocurrency) and the altcoins, which is a term for non-bitcoin cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, amongst many others.
Cryptocurrency isn’t a legal tender yet, so it isn’t an official means of transaction in many places, however, people are gradually opening up to the idea and the possibilities it holds. It appears it is here to stay.
The world of finance made simple and relatable
How Do Blockchains work?
The words ‘digitally distributed decentralized record of transactions across a peer-to-peer network’ may not mean much for you when trying to have a grasp of blockchain technology, but how about this simple analogy?
You and your friends: Atinuke, Tunde, and Angel decided to start a tradition of vacationing for a week after a long and busy work year.
You, however, are still seething from last year’s vacation because everyone trusted Angel (who magnanimously offered to it, by the way) with planning and making reservations, and not only did the entire group spend most of the vacation week in bed… and well, in the bathroom after a bad case of food poisoning from a hotel with multiple health code violations, You also had your most expensive wig snatched straight up from your head where it was sitting pretty by a petty thief during a tour of the city.
So, this year, everyone came to the unanimous decision that it’s all-hands-on-deck with the planning.
Owing to your respective busy schedules, all four of you decided to divide the planning of the vacation amongst yourselves by assigning tasks:
- You have the responsibility of coming up with a trip budget.
- Atinuke has the responsibility of making the necessary research on vacation spots and hotels -yeah, I wouldn’t trust Angel with that either.
- Angel is tasked instead with making the reservations at the chosen hotel and finally,
- Tunde is saddled with making flight arrangements, in that order. Please, follow closely.
Because the accomplishment of a successive task is reliant on the accomplishment of the preceding task, it makes sense to open a telegram group where reports and receipts will be recorded and kept in a place accessible by all four of you anytime anywhere.
This way, nobody takes the bulk of the responsibility and there are no rude shocks along the way because everyone is abreast of every single detail.
ou ask, how does this relate to blockchain technology? I’ll show you. The Telegram group represents the blockchain, which is a decentralized system easily accessible by anyone. The task reports and receipts? These are the transactions recorded on the blockchain. You and your friends? The peer-to-peer network. How clear is this? Do let us know in the comments.
Knowledge you can use
As you would with any other venture with a promise of financial freedom and high returns, it is important to assess the risks involved before delving into the world of cryptocurrency. So, whether you plan to trade, invest, or buy and hold in a digital wallet, you must be willing to play the long game.
If you have paid attention in recent times, you should be able to tell that the market has been quite volatile in the past, however, as time passes, you should be able to predict possible rising and falling just as you would other financial assets such as shares.
You want to:
• Conduct thorough research on different exchange platforms, weigh the pros and cons, and consult with experienced investors and traders.
• Diversify your portfolio. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. For example, it’s safer for you not to rely on Ethereum alone because you see a lot of people getting into it.
Fun, useful stuff you will absolutely love!
Remember this hilarious Sweet Boy ‘Q’ interview with VJ Adams?
Take a look at these helpful tips on cryptocurrency.