Hello there, listeners. I’m Brett Molina, welcome back to Talking Tech. Bitcoin is probably familiar to you. Cryptocurrencies are probably well known to you. NFTs are probably familiar to you as well. There are still some of you out there who are completely confused by this whole world and what all this means, and how it works, trading in Crypto Podcast, and exchanging it for real money, and there are a zillion questions. There was a column written about this by my colleague Kim Komando. You can find it on tech.usatoday.com. The article is called 10 Cryptocurrency Terms People Use Daily. go over a few of them now.
In Kim’s view, the world is very volatile. It can also be very confusing, especially if you’re someone looking to invest in cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin. It’s crucial to learn the most common language and terms used there in order to get a better understanding of what you’re getting into, especially when you start investing in stuff like Bitcoin. We are going to go over a couple of terms. This will not be a deep dive. Kim suggests a few other terms in her column.
The blockchain is a good place to start. It’s a virtual ledger. Whenever someone uses a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin to buy or sell, an entry is made on this virtual ledger. It resembles a series of boxes on a train, according to Kim. Every time there is a transaction, another box car gets added to the train.
Decentralization is one of the benefits of the blockchain. This information is not controlled by one central organization or group. Thousands of computers around the world connect to the internet, so it’s available to everyone.
Since there are so many different computers involved, a lot of experts I’ve spoken to for previous stories have said it can be a lot more secure since bitcoin is so big and there are so many computers involved that it’s harder for someone to hack into the blockchain and change things so that Bitcoin is transferred over somewhere it’s not supposed to be.
Fiat is the next term she mentions. It is not the car, as she mentions. Government-issued money is fiat money. So you might hear that a lot when people talk about cryptocurrency and fiat currency. So Fiat currency is basically the money we use every day. In the US, dollars, coins, all that stuff, that is Fiat currency.
You may be familiar with the last term she mentions. We have discussed it before. We’re talking about non-fungible tokens. Essentially, it’s a digital certificate that authenticates an online purchase. There are no limitations. Artwork can be purchased online with it. You’ve probably heard this a lot with a lot of artists who create digital art using NFTs, and they use these non-fungible tokens to authenticate their art as they sell it.
There are, however, other applications as well. The same goes for songs and viral videos. The same holds true for articles as well. It even applies to gifts. With the NFT, the appeal is primarily collectible. According to Kim. Collecting vintage cars, comic books, and baseball cards are all alike. It’s kind of the same thing, but it’s all digital. Cryptocurrencies are used to buy NFTs, that’s the main way you can do it.
A lot of people are hesitant to invest in NFTs because there is no tangible asset that they can hold in their hands. That’s why it’s interesting and confusing to some people.
A baseball card is a physical object. An actual vintage car may sit in a garage or driveway, or on the street, or wherever. But with NFTs, everything is digital. You own it, but it’s somewhere out there, and you have this NFT that proves it.
Kim lays out a few terms in her book. She has 10 of these, so you can read more about cryptocurrency and a lot of the terms associated with it on technology.usatoday.com.
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