2018: Year of Bitcoin & Alternative Currencies

 Last year I suggested I was going to devote more time to Bitcoin and the Alternative Currencies many of which have been derived from it.  I will in the future introduce individual coins and discuss their relative merits, but today I wanted to go over some basics.

First, why do people place any value on digital coins?  Bitcoin was the first digital coin to gain any notoriety,  and it addresses a libertarian mindset that values community over government. If you want as little government involvement as possible, then one of the more important places to address that problem is in who controls the money. Libertarians like Rand and Ron Paul have complained that the dollar is not linked to Gold, and that the US Federal Reserve cannot be trusted. In other countries a similar mistrust of the government control over money is even more rampant.

To address this problem most digital currencies like bitcoin (and alternative coins), assure that the control of digital coins belongs to the community rather than the government. The bitcoin ledger, where they keep track of each transaction belongs to and can be accessed by anyone who own some of the coin, with the right knowledge and patience. If you own Bitcoin (especially if you mine it)  you could have some say in what happens to it.

While Bitcoin is the best known crypto-currency, close on its heels is Ether and other alternative currencies like Steem. Many of these have improvements like greater functionality, but all of them have advantages over dollars, yen, euros and other centralized currencies.  Whether and/or when to buy them is a different question, but I will discuss those issues later.

 

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