Last year, you probably started hearing about Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. They are both surging in popularity right now, but many still don’t know what they’re all about …
Simply put, a cryptocurrency is a type of cash that lives on the web. Through a system that shares qualities with traditional email, you can send money to people all around the world.
Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency on the market, but it’s certainly not alone anymore. There are currently more than 1,000 cryptocurrencies available.
If this all still seems a bit too confusing, never fear. Understanding this new technology does take time, work and the right information—but it’s totally doable. For starters, here are six things industry-leading experts think you should know:
1) Don and Alex Tapscott: Blockchain Technology
Don Tapscott, CEO of The Tapscott Group Inc. and co-author of “Blockchain Revolution,” is one of the world’s leading authorities on cryptocurrency. Don’s son, Alex Tapscott, co-author of “Blockchain Revolution,” is also a must-know name in the world of digital money.
The father-son duo believes that blockchain will change the world because it’s like nothing else.
According to Don and Alex, “Bitcoin or other digital currency isn’t saved in a file somewhere; it’s represented by transactions recorded in a blockchain—kind of like a global spreadsheet or ledger, which leverages the resources of a large peer-to-peer Bitcoin network to verify and approve each Bitcoin transaction.”
2) The Winklevoss Twins: Crypto Scarcity
When you think of the Winklevoss Twins, you likely think of Mark Zuckerberg, too. What you probably know less about, however, is what the twins did with the settlement after the whole Facebook debacle was settled. Well, the two invested it a lot of it in Bitcoin, and now they’re sitting on a Bitcoin fortune.
Cameron Winklevoss told CNBC that “[The Winklevoss brothers have] always felt that Bitcoin, given its properties, is gold 2.0—it disrupts gold. Gold is scarce; Bitcoin is actually fixed. Bitcoin is way more portable and way more divisible. At a $300 billion market cap, it’s certainly seen a lot of price appreciation, but gold is at $6 trillion, and if Bitcoin disrupting gold is true and it plays out … then you can see 10 to 20 times appreciation because there is a significant delta still.”
3) Brian D. Evans: Unlimited Potential
Brian D. Evans is the founder of one of the fastest-growing private businesses in America, number seven marketing influencer on Forbes and—you guessed it—a blockchain enthusiast. In his most recent work with ShipChain, a blockchain-based transport and logistics company, Brian’s become increasingly interested in blockchain’s potential to disrupt more industries.
Brian thinks that “Since blockchain is a global distributed database, it can record virtually any transaction. As long as the information is structured, it can be recorded. Blockchain is a lot bigger than who just paid whom, and its applications will only increase over time.”
4) Marc Andreessen: Unmatched Security
Marc Andreessen was the co-founder of Netscape, and he currently runs one of the most influential Silicon Valley venture capital firms—Andreessen Horowitz. Although he’s been investing in cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology for some time, one thing that sticks out to him is its overall security.
“Bitcoin gives us, for the first time, a way for one internet user to transfer a unique piece of digital property to another internet user, such that the transfer is guaranteed to be safe and secure, everyone knows that the transfer has taken place and nobody can challenge the legitimacy of the transfer. The consequences of this breakthrough are hard to overstate,” says Marc.
5) Roger Crook: Global Opportunity
The former Global CEO of DHL Global Forwarding, Freight and current CEO of Capital Springboard, Roger Crook, is another industry leader to watch out for in the world of cryptocurrency. He’s currently joined ShipChain as their chief strategy officer, and needless to say, people can expect big things from Roger, Brian and ShipChain this year.
“Blockchain technology is speeding up the evolution of a truly global marketplace. Currently, billions of individuals around the world have access to the internet or mobile phones, but they don’t necessarily have access to traditional exchanges. Thanks to blockchain, this is going to change in a big way.”
6) Vitalik Buterin: A New Type of Funding
With titles like co-founder of Ethereum and co-founder of Bitcoin Magazine, it’s clear Vitalik Buterin knows what he’s doing when it comes to cryptocurrency—especially in the area of initial coin offerings (ICOs). An ICO is when a company offers investors some units of a new cryptocurrency or crypto-token in exchange for more established cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin.
Last year, Vitalik told Cointelegraph, “ICO as a model has a number of huge advantages. For instance, through ICO we can democratize participation in the projects from the very beginning. This model is a perfect way to give everyone an opportunity to contribute to the development of the project from the very early stages.”
Are Big Changes Ahead?
The six must-know experts listed above all think cryptocurrency will continue to make waves moving forward. That being said, their viewpoints are not exhaustive or necessarily spot-on. To understand more about cryptocurrency and its future, you’ll need to listen to other industry experts, conduct your own research and ultimately decide for yourself.
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