What Good Is Bitcoin?

If you’re like most of the country this holiday season you’ve probably been talking about Bitcoin over Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.  However, what is Bitcoin and should you be investing?  These are two very different questions, depending on who you ask.

Bitcoin is a very complex algorithmic store of value and is designed to be used as a currency.  It is supposed to replace decentralized banks, leaving the power of commerce in the hands of the people.  It was invented back in 2009 by Satoshi Nakamoto and was an open source project.

At first it was possible to “mine” bitcoins with a powerful computer (or not so powerful, depending on your perspective).  However, as more and more bitcoins became found, the difficulty of mining a new bitcoin became harder and harder.  It is now almost not profitable to mine bitcoin vs the amount of energy it takes to actually run the mining computer itself.

Over 100,000 merchants and businesses accept Bitcoin as a way of payment.  However, due to the exponential rise in the value of 1 Bitcoin over the last year (2017), it has become less of a currency and more of a store of value.

It’s true that economists are quite divided on how to approach Bitcoin, and what to even say about it.  Is it a good investment or is it more like playing the lottery or going to a casino?  The only thing that remains true as the currency goes through surges and crashes is that nobody knows for sure.

People have become quite wealthy due to the meteoric rise of this digital currency.  And Bitcoin isn’t the only currency you can now purchase and/or mine.  There are hundreds of other “cryptocurrencies” that are being traded every second.  Litecoin and Ethereum are two of the most popular, and are available for purchase on Coinbase, one of the most popular trading platforms for US users.

The problem with Bitcoin is that since it’s decentralized, there are problems with theft (as in the Mt Gox disaster) as well as the fact that it’s not insured and not traceable if it’s stolen. This has led to the development of hardware wallets such as the Leger Nano S and other similar devices.  This ensures that your Bitcoin stash remains safe.

There have been a lot of reports of Bitcoin being stolen thanks to hackers.  So a few things to be sure to do are to keep your computer clear of spyware with something like Spyhunter, and ensure your coins are stored in a safe places such as a hardware wallet.  The consensus is that leaving your coins on an exchange is asking for trouble (this is due to the tragic downfall of Mt Gox).

So what do you think of this rise to prominence of Bitcoin?  Is it a bubble or is it here to stay?  Have your say in the comments below!

December 28, 2017 | Category: My Blog

7 Cool Apps You Should Try

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Tired of your current apps? Check out some of these new ones. Almost all of them are free, and each one has its own special niche. Try them to see if one fits your lifestyle.

  1. Gallery Doctor

Is your phone cluttered with photos? Who has the time to weed out the ones that are too blurry, poorly lit, or too weird for you to share? Gallery Doctor, a free new app on iOS and Android, skims through your photo library and picks out all those duplicates and faulty photos that you really don’t want. It makes the bad batch available for you to browse, or you can choose to trust the app and scrap the whole batch. Check its handiwork the first few times to get a feel for what it keeps and doesn’t keep. Once you get in the groove with this app, it can save you hours and give you back a lot of data storage.

  1. The Occupant

It’s not for the faint of heart, but for Halloween fans and thriller junkies, this app hits the spot. It’s a free iOS game that invites you to roam the halls of a high-rise hotel, solving problems and finding items. The sheer terror of getting caught by the horrifying Occupant is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat. This one’s not for the kids, folks!

  1. Parama Math 1

Many apps try to turn math into a game, and this one succeeds. Free for iOS users, it features various scenarios and problems to solve, along with quirky, colorful characters and objects. You just might see a boost in your math-challenged kid’s grades after this learning adventure.

  1. Tripr

Getting ready to take a vacation on your own? Download Tripr, free to Android and iOS devices. You can network with people you know or people you just met during your travels. Ask about the must-see sites, the best-kept secrets of small towns, or the most delightful eateries. You can also check in on events like plays, concerts, and other gatherings to see which of your acquaintances will be there. The app makes traveling less like a solo pilgrimage and more like a shared adventure.

  1. StyleBee

Too busy to find time for the salon or massage parlor? Book a professional to do your beauty services at home. Through StyleBee, you’ll find experts at makeup, massage, hair-styling, face-painting, and other beauty and health services. StyleBee serves the Los Angeles and San Francisco areas currently, but plans to expand during the coming year.

  1. Hotspot Shield Free VPN

If you’re anxious about security while your Windows phone is online, try Hotspot Shield Free VPN. It has unblocking features for accessing specific content, and it offers high-level encryption to keep your private information safe, even as you’re doing mobile browsing.

  1. Pocket Physics

Got a super-intelligent kid who asks you a bunch of scientific questions all day long? Or maybe you just want to brush up on your physics facts. Either way, Pocket Physics is perfect for dredging up those long-forgotten but necessary facts about force, motion, and energy. For those who want a full-scale course in physics, the app’s publisher, Gecko Solutions, promises that additional chapters are on their way.

October 20, 2015 | Category: My Blog