In 2009, a blog called Bitcoin Insider covered virtual currency. It was a blog about virtual currency that caused a scandal. The blog’s name was a dead giveaway: Bitcoin is one kind of virtual currency, also known as cryptocurrency.
In September 2010, the New York Times ran an article on Bitcoin. As with all such articles, it included a quote from an expert: “The only reason to use Bitcoin today is to buy drugs or pay for sex.”
Bitcoin Insider responded to the Times by posting several screenshots taken from the Times’ website. These screenshots showed that the expert quoted in the story had written comments that were identical to those posted by the experts quoted in other stories on the same page.
The screenshots also showed that this expert had left his name and email address in every single comment he had made in every single story on the Times’ website. That’s not unusual for an expert; journalists often leave their contact details so readers can tell them what they think of their work. But in this case it wasn’t a journalist who had left his contact details but an unknown server hacker who had hacked into the New York Times website and posted fake comments by experts who didn’t exist.
Virtual currency is a way of sending money from one place to another without using banks. As with all financial innovations, it has its supporters and its detractors. But what really seems to be wrong about it is how hard it is to understand. We really don’t know how virtual currencies work.
The main issue is that the math is too complicated for ordinary people to understand. It goes like this: Suppose Alice has a computer and Bob has a computer and they both want to send each other money. They can use electronic messages or they can do it by writing checks on each other’s computers, but either way if they make a mistake they won’t get paid. What do they do?
First, Alice sets up her own secure server in a place where she knows no one will ever look at it. This secure server holds all of Alice’s savings, including the money she gets from merchants who want to pay her for goods and services that she has done.
Next, Bob sets up his own secure server so that none of his savings can be seen or touched by anyone else: no one else except Alice can ever see him or touch him.
At this point the two systems are independent; Alice does not know what Bob does with his savings, nor does he know
Virtual currency is a very hot topic, but it’s not really a new subject. It’s probably been around for as long as there’ve been computers.
It’s the same thing, just different words to describe the same thing: a piece of data that can be exchanged in exchange for something else of value. It is worth exactly what people are willing to pay for it, and almost nothing else.
Virtual currency is useful in cases where it is difficult or inconvenient to use real currency, such as when you are buying something online or paying a bill by credit card. But virtual currency also has some surprising applications. For example, gold and silver have been used as money for thousands of years, but they are heavy, hard to store, and easy to lose or destroy. They also tend to be attracted to magnets; the way you store them is an engineering challenge.
The problem with physical money is that it can be stolen or lost or destroyed – sometimes even by accident. That’s why governments don’t trust private institutions with their own currencies; they’re not willing to let private companies handle money on their behalf. And if everyone else does the same thing, then there’s no reason for anyone to trust anything at all.
But with virtual currency there are no worries
Virtual currencies are a fascinating phenomenon. They’re like regular currencies except that they’re not real, and they don’t exist anywhere in the physical world. Instead they exist entirely in cyberspace.
Their value is defined by how many people think they have value. The more people who think they have value, the more valuable they are. And the more valuable they are, the more money people will pay for them.
Virtual currency has very little to do with money and everything to do with trust. Let’s say I want to buy a million bitcoins for $10 each. The seller has to trust that I’m not trying to get him to part with a million bitcoins for $1 each, or even $0.01 each, because then he won’t get any bitcoin at all. He’ll just lose his reputation as a seller of virtual currency.
The seller also has to trust that if he accepts payment in virtual currency, it’ll be worth something one day, because otherwise he’ll lose out on the fee: he basically gets nothing if his customers can sell their bitcoins for less than what he paid him for them later down the road when everyone decides that bitcoins haven’t been all that great after all and decides not to buy them anymore.
Virtual currency, i.e. digital money, is a new idea that has been getting a lot of attention lately. It’s not quite an alternative currency or digital money but is still pretty close to being one. The idea is that the value of money can be programmed into computers and will automatically adjust according to supply and demand.
A virtual currency that was made to imitate the US dollar was released in 2009. Its purpose was to raise awareness about issues such as inflation, government control over money, and the importance of having a stable currency. The creators of this virtual currency didn’t have any intention of making it actually work because they thought that the people who buy virtual currencies are just interested in its design and novelty factor.”
There are difficulties with a lot of virtual currencies because there are so many issues with them. In order to create these currencies you need computer knowledge as well as coding skills, as well as understanding how money works in general. It basically involves you setting up your own digital bank account for money management by creating an algorithm for how money should be used by everyone in the system.”
The book Virtual Currency: How Bitcoin and Digital Money are Challenging the Global Economic Order by Elizabeth White documents the history of bitcoin, its technical basis, its shortcomings, and
A few weeks ago, there was a release of a book called The State of the World Atlas. It’s a big book, all about the world from the point of view of a particular nation. The United States is always portrayed as an unalloyed good, Europe is portrayed as about equally good and bad, and Asia is always portrayed as hopelessly corrupt.
The book puts a lot of weight on economic growth. “The most important policy goal for Africa,” it says, “is to sustain the rapid rate of economic growth necessary to ensure that poverty continues to decline.”
This statement seems reasonable enough, but it’s really wrong: if you look at Africa itself, not just abstractly talking about African countries, you’ll see that many African countries are actually doing quite well on their own terms: they are rich in comparison to other nations on earth but they still have large populations of people who live in poverty.
What’s really going on is that we have come to think of wealth as being defined by GDP per capita. But when you do that, you have to treat the whole world like it has one uniform income distribution. That leads to absurd results: for example, Brazil is one of the richest countries in the world because it has lots of oil;