Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Crypto; a gentle Introduction

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You may have heard of Bitcoin. What it is? This text is for begginers, so I will give an easy explanation. Bitcoin is another coin, like US Dolar, or Euros. Someone in the digital world invented it, and since then it has risen its value. As with regular coins: one morning 1 bitcoin = 1 dolar, and the next 1 btc could be 2 dolars (btc means bitcoin).

Creating Bitcoin wasn’t that easy. Satoshi, its founder, had to invent a Blockchain. This is the interesting part, a Blockchain is an entire system that keeps track of transactions, in a public and decentralized way. Decentralized means that the information is in the cloud, available when someone connects. And because it is public, because it can be written and red by anyone, there has to be a security warranty somehow.

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As you would imagine, developing a blockchain took time and a group of experts. But once it was done, it benefited all mankind. Many Blockchains exist now, each one with different features, and currencies. There is Binance, Solana, Cardano, Tezos, etc. Also there is Ethereum, which can be seen as the younger brother of Bitcoin, as revolutionary or more than him, introducing new enhancements that went far beyond traditional panorama.

For example, in Ethereum we can define smart contracts, which are like regular contracts, read and executed in milliseconds by computers, paying transactions and percentages to parties without human mistakes. Another feature is the ability to prove authenticity and store it for the posterity in the blockchain. This matched perfectly the cryptpoart environment, providing a way to proof authenticity of works. Blockchain infrastructure made possible to track the original author, and hand royalties of sales. Even after subsequent ownerships, the original author can be compensated, as long as the the art was registered in a Blockchain as an NFT.

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When writing this post, in 2021, bitcoin had risen its value considerably. More growth is expected, so it may be a good idea to be involved. Where should you invest? Which of the available cryptocurrencies will perform the best??? I am not a financial expert, and won’t give a definite answer. The Blockchain I like is named Algorand, and I prefer it because its white-label features and because I care about the environment (as Pope Francis said in his encyclicals, we should love Nature and take care of it).

Both Bitcoin and Ethereum use a Proof of Work algorithm, which is a computational contest that require high amounts of power, resulting in harmful carbon emissions. Very different is the algorithm used by Algorand, and developed by its creator Silvio Micalli. I am not an expert on ecology, neither on cryptography, I just want to let you know, before the environmental issue, that risking money is no game, and that the value of cryptocurrencies fluctuate every second. In a glimpse you can double or half years of working. Also there is a technological aspect you need to handle correctly, or at least feel not ashamed by it: for example if you send money to an invalid address, you will lose it!

So this is a simple internet advice: Be careful before entering the cryptoworld πŸ‘πŸ»

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