This is a short post concerning things like Bitcoin and recent news. Recently, I was visiting with some long term friends who opined that the way to make money was through cryptocurrency, such as Bitcoin, perhaps by mining. Recenly, (July 11th), the U.S. patent office accepted Goldman Sach’s application for a patent for its SETLcoin, which is a digitized currency for settling security trades. In the past, I have put forth my informed opinion that Bitcoin and other currencies may provide short term profits but have some inherent dangers, and are not good investments.
I quote a recent article on these currencies: ”
“A cryptographic currency is a digital medium of exchange that enables distributed, rapid, cryptographically secure, confirmed transactions for goods and/or services. One of the first cryptographic currencies to come to broad attention was Bitcoin, which is based on a peer-to-peer network, in 2009. Since then, numerous cryptographic currencies have become available, such as Litecoin, Novacoin, Namecoin, Feathercoin, Terracoin, Dogecoin, and Peercoin.
Fundamentally, cryptographic currencies are specifications regarding the use of currency that seek to incorporate principles of cryptography (e.g., public-key cryptography) to implement a distributed and decentralized information economy. A digital currency, e.g., a bitcoin used in Bitcoin, is computationally brought into existence by an issuer (e.g., a bitcoin is “mined”). Digital currency can be stored in a virtual cryptographic wallet, (hereinafter “wallet”), i.e., a software and/or hardware technology to store cryptographic keys and cryptographic currency. Digital currency can be purchased (e.g., for U.S. dollars at an ATM or at an exchange), sold (e.g., for goods and/or services), traded, or exchanged for a different currency or cryptographic currency, for example. A sender makes a payment (or otherwise transfers ownership) of digital currency by broadcasting (e.g., in packets or other data structures) a transaction message to nodes on a peer-to-peer network. The transaction message includes the quantity of virtual currency changing ownership (e.g., 4 bitcoins) and the receiver’s (i.e., the new owner’s) public key-based address. Transaction messages are sent through the Internet, without the need to trust a third party, so settlements are extremely timely and efficient.”