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Saturday, March 8, 2014

Crypto Everywhere

I am reminded daily that most people have no idea of what cryptocurrency is, or why it matters. By now, you may have heard of Bitcoin, the leading crypto. But even that is questionable, and chances are you don't know what it is, if you have heard about it at all.

I didn't write this to explain crypto to you. But in a nutshell, it's a new form of currency, electronic in nature, and anonymous. It is basically credits that you can purchase with paper money, and spend online, or later convert back to paper money. But it can also be 'mined', or earned for performing tasks. It also works well for tipping and micro-transactions. 

It can increase or decrease in value based on things like availability and demand, which can be quite nice. There's a lot to like about cryptocurrency. But whether you like it or not, it's here to stay, and will only gain more prominence. 

Why?

Well, it's incredibly bloody useful. Beyond that, it's about to become the de facto for things like 'Coke Reward Points' and frequent flyer miles. But it's really about branding.

When Coke realizes it can create CokeCoin out of thin air, for an investment of a few million, it is going to do it. Everyone will, at some point in the future, have their own currency. Corporations, universities. Yes, even people. Each currency will have a value assigned to it that is derived at least in part based on reputation. A dollar from Joe might be more valuable than a dollar from Bob.

Don't worry. All of this stuff will be handled invisibly, for the most part. If I want to buy from you, but you only accept Flappycoin, and I only have Dogecoins, we'll just go through an exchange without either of us having to do anything.  

My point is that the prevalence of cryptocurrencies is only going to increase. I can easily imagine it exploding in a way most people can't imagine right now, as is often the case with new technologies. Get ready. Or not. Meh.