I'll answer your questions about Bitcoin, cryptocurrency, blockchain, etc

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Howdy folks,

So, I've recently discussed cryptocurrency a bit on ACF and realized that a lot of folks have some burning questions about all this stuff. It's confusing, intimidating, ostensibly over-complicated. Most of the people who try to explain it on the internet are Reddit-dwelling neckbeards who just want to make you feel dumb so they can feel a bit better about the fact that they just blew $1,000 on your most recent SPH clips. Okay, bad joke, I know...couldn't help it.

Anyway, some folks know I work in finance. Specifically, I very often work with cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. It's my day job, and it has changed the way that I see economics and the future of finance. No, I'm not a Bitcoin zealot - I don't think it's going to take over the world, but I do know that it will become increasingly relevant and will be a very integral part of the adult industry soon.

How do you buy, sell, and use cryptocurrency? What is it? Why use it? Did you know that blockchain technology (the backbone of cryptocurrencies) is being used for everything from international banking to voting to creating a global housing market? What about Bitcoin being a 'bubble' that will inevitably crash in a conflagration of hellfire? Or everything being a scam? What makes this stuff valuable anyway?

I'd like to open up a dialogue and make myself available to answer any and all questions related to this stuff, in an ELI5 style ("explain it like I'm five" - meaning simple, designed to actually help you understand). I hope this could be my small way of giving back to a community that has been extremely helpful and welcoming to me. Education is so important in the crypto community right now, but again - those pesky neckbeard guys ain't making it any easier.

You're not stupid. This stuff is confusing - imagine trying to understand the idea of paper currency back when that was invented. It drove people mad for some 400 years. Some of the smartest folks I know have trouble understanding this stuff, but it's not their fault - it's the fault of crappy educators and intentionally off-putting...ok I don't think I can use the neckbeard thing a third time...

So yeah, ask away. I'll help however I can.

Edit: Any finance questions, go for it.
 

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At first I was worried when I saw the title of the thread, but then I saw it was you. :)

So right, sometimes people interested in blockchains and crypto act like elitist jerks while explaining it.

I don't have any questions ATM. Please ignore me. :)
 

JigglesJane

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SOOOOOO...Can you explain what bitcoin is? And how I might benefit from it as a cam model?

I've been surrounded by neckbeards circle jerking cryptocurrencies for like a decade, and I'm too annoyed with them to actually ask "ok but wtf is it?!"

Sorry, super basic question!
 
I've been thinking about investing in cryptocurrency, but I'm still researching so thank you for starting this thread.

First question that I have is what is the difference between Bitcoin and Bitcash. Are they related or seperate currencies?

One more, if you have one of those external usb wallets to store bitcoins, do you still purchase them at sites like Coinbase or somewhere else?
 
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I dabble in it. It took me forever to understand the basics of it. Glad you started this thread to help explain in a non elitist way. I follow r/bitcoin and it's a nightmare trying to get into it from there. The crypto jargon is definitely not welcoming to those that are interested in knowing more. I wish there was some kind of official glossary that was readily available to get people started. It's a really revolutionary idea and has SO much potential, especially for us in digital goods.

No questions for now- will definitely pop in when I run across my next one for sure.
 
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I’m with @JigglesJane. To be honest I have no idea what it is, how it works and it’s all very intimidating. Yet I’m intrigued because yeah money lol! Any beginners or “for dummies” type information or links would be much appreciated because it’s hard to even know where to start with the learning process regarding cryptocurrency.
 
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SOOOOOO...Can you explain what bitcoin is? And how I might benefit from it as a cam model?

I've been surrounded by neckbeards circle jerking cryptocurrencies for like a decade, and I'm too annoyed with them to actually ask "ok but wtf is it?!"

Sorry, super basic question!
LOL no worries! This is probably the best question to answer, for starters. I think all the misconceptions about cryptocurrency comes from simply not knowing what the hell it is...and whenever you ask someone (r/bitcoin, I'm talking to you), they're either a total dick (as though you're supposed to just understand this stuff out of thin air) or give you an intentionally confusing explanation to make themselves feel better for being a mama's basement-dweller. I'll try to use an analogy to explain the basic idea of it. Bear with me, I promise this is going somewhere:

***BITCOIN AND CRYPTOCURRENCY EXPLAINED (non-douchebag edition) ***

So, say I have an orange. I give the orange to you. Now, I no longer have the orange; you have the orange. I physically handed it to you and I didn't need an intermediary or third party to help me give you the orange. We didn't need to have a notary sit there and witness this happening to verify that I gave you the orange.

The orange is yours. I have no control over it anymore - you do.

Now, imagine that orange is a digital orange. What if I made a bunch of copies of the orange on my computer, so when I give it to you, I can also turn around and give it to 1,000 other people? So that's kind of a problem - the orange is a commodity, and I can use it to trade with you or to pay you...but if I can just make a bunch of copies, it's pretty much worthless, right?

This is called the "double spending problem" and it was a conundrum that prevented the creation of a truly digital form of money for decades. It was impossible to use a digital asset like you would a physical one (where I can hand you cash and I don't need a third party to help verify or facilitate my doing so) because people could just abuse the system by making copies.

So maybe I need to keep a digital ledger of my digital oranges, like an online notebook where I input the transaction history of the digital orange. But the problem here is that I can add a few digital oranges to my ledger here and there, or lie about my transactions. I'd have to have a third party (like a bank) to serve as a trusted middleman...but the third party might have rules about the transaction: I can only use digital oranges for things the third party allows me to use them for. Maybe they're super anti-porn and won't let me give you the digital orange in return for one of your videos. That's kinda fucked because, like, it's mine. On top of that, this third party charges me a large percentage of my digital oranges whenever I want to spend them...and sending them to you can take days, or even weeks. How do I do digitally what I did physically, back when I could just hand you the orange in person?

Someone said "fuck all that" and gave the ledger to everyone. Now everybody has a copy of the same digital ledger and they can see every transaction that ever happens. I can't cheat the system because if I secretly add a few digital oranges to my ledger, it won't sync up with everyone else's ledgers. It's impossible for me to cheat this system, especially when the system involves millions of people.

The other thing about this ledger that everyone has is that it's decentralized - no one person controls it, nobody governs it. All of its rules were defined at the very beginning, and the total number of digital oranges that will ever exist have been defined. All transactions are verified by everyone on this public ledger (the blockchain). One of the incentives here is that by verifying transactions on the ledger (bitcoin mining), people are rewarded with a bunch of digital oranges (bitcoin mining rewards).

This is - in a very, very simplified way - the core of the bitcoin protocol. I know exactly how many digital oranges exist, I know they are limited (they have scarcity, which is important for any financial asset). I know that when I send you my digital orange, it is completely yours - it's all logged in this digital ledger that everyone sees. And because it's public, I don't need a third party or intermediary to verify anything. Nobody can tell me what or how to spend my digital oranges.

The blockchain is like a bunch of legos (blocks) put together in a loooong string. Miners contribute their computer's hashing power to update the ledger and verify transactions and are rewarded bitcoin for doing so. There's a finite number of bitcoin that will exist, and the economy of it is regulated by the rewards slowly being doled out over time (the rewards become less and less bitcoin for more and more blocks that are hashed over time - this is part of the scarcity mechanism that regulates the "value" of bitcoin).

People say bitcoin is anonymous, but it's technically pseudonymous. Everyone has a special digital wallet (or many) for their bitcoin that has two keys (passwords that are long strings of numbers and letters). One of these keys is the public key - this is your wallet's address (and you can generate an infinite number of different addresses - maybe you don't want someone googling your bitcoin address and seeing it pop up somewhere else you might have posted it, so you use a new one): this address shows up on the blockchain ledger whenever someone sends you bitcoin so as to verify the transaction. However, nobody can know who you are or where you are with this public key. All they know is that a transaction happened.

The other key is your private key. This is the "password" you use to send bitcoin. Only you know this key. You can access your bitcoin wallet anywhere in the world by using this unique key. In many third world countries, people who don't have access to banks are able to use bitcoin with even the old-as-fuck Nokia 3000 (the cheapest, most common phone in the world). Banks charge insane fees for these people to send money home to their families (and the banks can take weeks to send the money), but now these people can send their money in bitcoin, instantly across the world and for a minor fee (usually, bitcoin fees are incentives for miners to process your transaction on the next block as opposed to a block that will be hashed, say, an hour from now). These fees are seldom more than a few cents.

So, we have a peer-to-peer economy now, where everyone has equal power. Anyone can update the blockchain with cool, clever ideas. They can attach things to the ledger, like photos or videos or entire websites. They can build applications on top of the blockchain. Every single individual is essentially a bank. You can even lend money using cryptocurrencies (which, in truth, are a small part of the equation - the cryptocurrency is simply the token used on the blockchain).

"Smart Contracts" are uniquely defined protocols you can build on the blockchain. Say I want to buy a custom video from you, but I don't want to be ripped off (and you don't want to make the custom video and not be paid). Well, you can use an escrow-type smart contract that says the funds will be released to you at the exact moment the custom video is released to the buyer (all verified by the public ledger). Oh, and you don't owe any middleman a "cut".

These decentralized applications and contracts can be used for anything: right now, there's a global housing market being created wherein people can "tokenize" their real estate. Someone can exchange digital assets via a smart contract in return for the token (or digital deed of ownership of the property) - no expensive lawyer fees, intermediaries, or third parties needed. There's no way to be ripped off or screwed over, and nobody can tell you how, when, where, or to whom you can sell your real estate.

Tokens can be created to support a technology, an idea, a website, even a person - there are now voting platforms wherein you use cryptocurrency to leverage votes. Again, the system is tamper-proof.

Why crypto is actually relevant:

I'll first briefly explain why cryptocurrency is actually going to see widespread adoption and become relevant to more than just libertarians and neckbearded nerds:

Cryptocurrency is still an infant market (hence the volatility), but it is finally being embraced by governments and major banks as of 2017. The NYSE (new york stock exchange) has announced they will be listing index funds of various cryptocurrencies as well as a Bitcoin exchange. Wall Street investors have been accumulating millions in BTC (the ticker symbol for Bitcoin) in anticipation of major adoption and bullish trend markets (prices going up). The SEC (securities exchange commission) has filed regulations and the IRS has a taxation protocol for crypto assets. Major banks and payment processors now use blockchain technology to facilitate instant international transactions (e.g. Ripple's XRapid network). Even Walmart is using blockchain tech for record keeping, inventory, etc.

Hundreds of cryptocurrencies have been created, all serving different purposes: Ripple (XRP) seeks to facilitate instant and inexpensive international money transfers. Ethereum Lend (ETHLEND) is a money lending platform that uses smart contracts to facilitate instant loans and all that goes along with it. TRON (TRX) built their own entire blockchain (TRC10) on which they're constructing an entire new internet. You can use TRX to pay for media, porn (on PornHub at this moment), and now they have acquired the entire BitTorrent network (1M+ daily users) and have tokenized peer-to-peer downloading and file sharing. Ethereum was revolutionary by creating the ERC20 blockchain protocol on which almost all second and third generation cryptocurrencies were built. This is where smart contracts and "dapps" (decentralized applications - anything from a bank to a voting platform to a video game) are built.

PornHub began accepting two cryptocurrencies: TRON (TRX) and Verge (XVG). People can buy porn and literally have complete anonymity - customers like this, but they need crypto to be less confusing. They have an option where models can be paid in XVG. It's instant and requires almost no transaction fees (thus, higher payouts) and will never be subject to discrimination. Now we get to the truly relevant topic:

How can cryptocurrency help me as a model?

We all know that PayPal hates adult media - the CEO has been outright discriminatory of sex workers. Accounts are frozen, assets seized. Credit Card companies are impossibly painful to deal with - they are the reason places like clips4sale have a LONGASS list of no-no words that often don't make any sense. They charge the merchants (in this case, c4s) exorbitant fees which means our payouts are a lower percentage because we help cover these fees. Banks charge even more fees for direct deposits (and all payment methods take days or weeks to finalize). The ways we can get paid are on tiny little threads, and more of them are breaking every year.

Right this second, crypto is still an intimidating, confusing space. A lot of people don’t understand it and don’t care to. But we’ve reached a point where it’s no longer speculation that it is going to be a major part of our economy. It probably won’t be Bitcoin, but blockchain technology is slowly becoming the entire backbone of the internet and the media hosted on it. I could cite multiple projects that would see the use of a cryptocurrency token as even simpler than using a credit card. Fees that are just a few cents, instant transactions, fool-proof security, the use of smart contracts for things like custom content, physical item sales, etc.

This is why I advocate a basic understanding of cryptocurrency. Most major porn sites are currently using some variation of blockchain technology and now are beginning to dabble in the actual tokens (the cryptocurrency). How long will it take before banks and credit card companies and payment processors (who often deem adult services a ToS violation) - with their exorbitant fees, slow transactions, arbitrary content regulations, lack of privacy, and security vulnerabilities - become replaced by a system that is decentralized (not governed by any one individual, government, organization or company), instant, near fee-less, 100% private, and impenetrable from a security standpoint?

As this technology becomes more understandable to the general public (which is sincerely what these crypto developers want) and the traditional markets adopt it (happening now), it’ll become a part of our economic world.

Some notes (not necessary to understand BTC or crypto, but interesting nonetheless):

- The blockchain cannot be hacked. It's impossible to hack a decentralized network because there is no single entry point. The only security vulnerability is having your private key stolen, and the only way this can happen is if you keep your tokens on an exchange and that exchange is hacked (it's often noted that you should never use an exchange to store your tokens for this reason). Nobody can hack a private wallet - they'd have to literally get the private key from you in person.

- Banks suck. A great interest rate on your standard savings account is .01% APY. The way a bank works is by borrowing your money and lending it to other people. Say I have $10,000 in savings - the bank will lend that 10k to someone for as much as 40% interest, and pay me .01% interest to thank me letting them lend my money and make a ton of profit off of it. I'm not allowed to use my money for whatever I want, whenever I want. And when I do use my money, I have to pay fees (this especially sucks for immigrants who send money back home from America). The bank is routinely fucking me in the ass, and I'm thanking them for it. When I own cryptocurrency, I literally am a bank.

- Fiat currency is basically plain ol' money: the US Dollar, the British Pound, the Euro, the Korean Won. Fiat currency is not backed by anything in the United States. The US Dollar, for example, derives its value from the amount in circulation leveraged against the market economy (goods and services and their fluctuating supply/demand). Literally the only thing that makes a dollar worth a dollar is that everyone agrees that a dollar is a dollar. Cryptocurrencies are actually backed by technology, products, and services - think of a crypto token as a stock in a company (or even more than that - stock in an idea, a service, a product, etc).

- The US Dollar market capitalization is essentially unknown. Only a small percentage thereof is actually in circulation. This is pretty terrifying - the Federal Reserve can create or destroy paper currency at-will, while this unknown capitalization lends to a severe instability in the value of the US Dollar. There is a possibility that the US Dollar will be tokenized as a digital currency: this would be a blockchain system (decentralized) within a centralized system (the Federal Reserve regulation). The US Gov has been researching doing this for about 5 years now.

- The money in your bank account isn't digital money. It's basically like a certificate attesting that this trustworthy third party (the bank) is holding X amount for you. Despite FDIC-insured money, the bank technically can default on your money with zero repercussions (e.g. 2008 sub-prime mortgage crisis). They also can act as sole arbitrator of your money in the case that someone claims you owe them money (the bank can liquidate your assets for a debt collection agency). Nobody can seize a crypto asset.

- Nobody actually thinks cryptocurrency will overthrow fiat currency (well, the assholes do, I guess). Cryptocurrency seeks to exist alongside fiat currency and serve more as a technological backbone for money.

- Countries like Venezuela have reached such inflation points that their fiat currency is literally worthless. The entire country of Venezuela now operates on a cryptocurrency economy. In some places, cryptocurrency is a solution to poverty and a severe lack of financial mobility (e.g. Africa, where millions of people do not have access to banking).

- Bitcoin etc is not a "bubble". It's a violently fluctuating asset because it's new. Very new. Currencies have to align with a market in order for their static valuations to be determined. Only adoption and actual use-cases can do this (good thing banks, major companies, and stock exchanges are starting to use it). Cryptocurrency is the only truly global currency at this point in time. Establishing global economies have been the goal of economics for the last century.



Okay fuck...I'm sorry if this was overwhelming, as I set out to not be. It's a lot of information. I hope this helped make some sense of it all.

I think an important point to put out there is why a lot of cryptocurrency zealots are douchebags. A lot of it is political disposition: many hardcore libertarians, self-professed anarchists, and just dudes who hate the government cheer for this stuff because it's decentralized and gives you absolute control over your money. Controlling your money is great, but they fail to realize that cryptocurrencies want to work with governments; they want adoption and to be useful to everyday people.

Another reason is very simple: it makes these guys feel smart. They like knowing about shit that confuses even the smartest of people. But there's nothing cool about understanding crypto; it's just like knowing a different language. If I learn Russian, that doesn't make me smarter than you because you only speak English.
 

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Reading this is making me picture some kind of cyber punk future world, I love it. Thank you for that break down, the oranges thing made it a lot easier for me to picture how it works.

So let's say I want to sell a clip to someone directly using Bitcoin to take the payment. All I have to do is send them that gibberish "ghwoieh" looking address, they send money to me from that, and I can transfer that money into my bank account once I receive it, yes?
 
I've been thinking about investing in cryptocurrency, but I'm still researching so thank you for starting this thread.

First question that I have is what is the difference between Bitcoin and Bitcash. Are they related or seperate currencies?

One more, if you have one of those external usb wallets to store bitcoins, do you still purchase them at sites like Coinbase or somewhere else?
I've answered your questions in detail and with a tl;dr at the end in case you (and others) just want the straight answer.

1) So you're thinking of "Bitcoin Cash". Because Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are open source (technically anyone can edit and add to them), occasionally there are major changes in the blockchain protocol. These major changes will require everyone to upgrade to the newest version of the software (nowadays, exchanges and wallets typically do this automatically). But sometimes, not everyone agrees with the changes...

When a consensus cannot be reached, or there is a dispute about an upgrade, there is what we call a hard fork: blocks made according to a new set of rules are considered invalid according to the old rules, and vice versa. This leads to a split in the blockchain: from that point, miners (who validate transactions) and users must decide which set of rules to enforce. So now you end up with two versions of the cryptocurrency that cannot be reconciled. (There's also soft forks, where the two resulting softwares are mutually compatible, and the validity of the blockchain as a whole is accepted by both rule sets).

What happened here was a Bitcoin hard fork that resulted in Bitcoin (remaining as-is) and a new cryptocurrency (the upgrade) called "Bitcoin Cash" (the ticker was BCH). Bitcoin Cash actually had its own hard fork a few months ago which resulted in Bitcoin Cash Satoshi's Vision (BCHSV) and Bitcoin Cash Adjustable Blocksize Cap (BCHABC). Bitcoin Cash didn't remain the same because both sets of rules were totally incompatible with the original Bitcoin Cash.

This was actually a really weird point in the crypto space because it caused, this like, "mining war" among all the Bitcoin Cash miners and programmers - these groups were fighting for control over their unique ticker signs and everything. Bitcoin Cash was kind of a shitty project and the price has since crashed pretty badly. They also tried to masquerade as the "real bitcoin" which was seen as dishonest and misleading, which is why I'm not surprised you asked this question. A lot of people thought Bitcoin Cash was Bitcoin and vice versa when BCH first launched.

There are other things like "Ethereum Classic" (ETC) which was an offshoot from an Ethereum hard fork.

tl;dr Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash were two separate cryptocurrencies. This happened because of a software upgrade (called a "hard fork") that some people agreed with (thus, Bitcoin Cash was born), and others didn't (Bitcoin remained the same). Bitcoin Cash no longer exists as it has since had its own hard fork into two totally new cryptocurrencies called Bitcoin Cash SV and Bitcoin Cash ABC.

2) The USB wallets are a form of "cold storage", meaning your tokens are stored offline. Hardware wallets like Trezor are used for maximum security - literally nobody can access your tokens without having the actual physical USB wallet AND your private key. This also means you cannot send or receive any bitcoin (or other crypto - different wallets are compatible with different tokens). You'd have to plug it in and access it, then deposit the bitcoin using the public key of your USB wallet.

There are three ways to acquire, say, Bitcoin:

1) Buy bitcoin on an exchange that has a BTC/USD pairing (this just means you can trade USD for bitcoin - normally you add funds from your bank account to the exchange, then trade the USD for the Bitcoin).

2) Receive bitcoin from someone as payment for something, or pay them cash and they send you the Bitcoin (in person, or on a private peer-to-peer exchange). They send their Bitcoin to your public key (your wallet). If your cold storage wallet is unplugged, it's offline and cannot receive the tokens.

3) Mine Bitcoin. Not really viable anymore as the rewards are minuscule and require an insane amount of hashing power (there was this one Bitcoin mining facility where they used the heat generated from all the GPUs to power a potato farm!) China is BIG on Bitcoin mines - they'll have these huge warehouses with thousands of GPUs hashing out algorithms for Bitcoin. There's a cool Vice short-doc about them.

The usual method is to buy on a fiat pairing exchange like Coinbase, yes. Then, you can send your crypto off to an exchange like Binance to trade for any of hundreds of crypto. Or you can send it to your personal wallet. Leaving your tokens on an exchange is usually not the best idea, as the exchange could be hacked or compromised (see: the Mt. Gox hack), though this is becoming way less frequent. Coinbase is also making terrible business decisions lately and they routinely screw you with their insane fees and wait-times so a lot of newer exchanges are adding USD or Euro pairings to take over. Binance has announced that they are adding fiat pairings, which means it will become an entry point for buying crypto with fiat currency (I think Euro is first in line for this).

tldr: Yes, you still have to purchase the Bitcoin from some sort of entry point like Coinbase, or directly from someone with Bitcoin. You can then send the Bitcoin to your cold storage wallet (the USB wallet).
 
Oh, here's one: what cryptocurrencies are your personal favorite and why?
I really like XRP (Ripple). They're pretty polarizing and have divided a lot of people in the finance/crypto community because they are a centralized company - they're run by a very professional organization and have teamed up with many banks and credit card companies. Some of the "privacy zealots" really don't like that a cryptocurrency is being used by major banks, but the reality is that crypto was not created just so some guys could buy drugs on Silk Road (internet black market).

Ripple has an actual "use-case" (basically, an active product - many cryptocurrencies have the currency tokens available but not the actual product yet). The XRP token can be used by banks to facilitate instant, low-fee international transactions that automatically does real-time currency-to-currency conversions. This is very revolutionary because international transactions used to require 1) manual currency conversions e.g. Euro to Dollar, 2) very high fees, and 3) transaction times that can take days or weeks.

Ripple developed a protocol called X-Rapid that is now being used by banks to do this. Because of X-Rapid, we will be able to send US dollars to a relative in Korea and they will instantly receive the money in Korean Won. It's 1,000 times faster than the VISA network.

I also really love the TRON Foundation. It was founded by Justin Sun, who is the Chinese business magnate Jack Ma's (founder of AliBaba) protege. They created their own blockchain protocol called TRC10 on which their main asset TRX exists. TRX is being used for everything from media purchases (including porn) to in-game transactions on video games, to voting for super-representatives within their own foundation. This last bit is cool because users are rewarded in TRX by using it to vote, and they have the power to elect their own representatives within the foundation. It's all very democratic.

TRON recently acquired the BitTorrent network, which has over 1M daily users. They have built a new token called "BitTorrent Token" (BTT) which is used to reward people for file sharing on the BitTorrent network. It can also be used to purchase faster download speeds on that same network. Last, if you hold TRX, you will receive free BTT at a ratio of 1 : .11 every month, for six years. So for every TRX you have at the time of the airdrop (when they send out the BTT), you get .11 BTT. This was really clever of them because it encourages people to hold TRX so they can continue to receive the BTT. This whole design is built to get people to use BTT and TRX, thus creating an active, scalable market. They pretty much took file sharing and turned it into its own economy.
 
Reading this is making me picture some kind of cyber punk future world, I love it. Thank you for that break down, the oranges thing made it a lot easier for me to picture how it works.

So let's say I want to sell a clip to someone directly using Bitcoin to take the payment. All I have to do is send them that gibberish "ghwoieh" looking address, they send money to me from that, and I can transfer that money into my bank account once I receive it, yes?
LOL I totally get that vibe from it. When I got past the unwelcoming bullshit like the Reddit crypto forums and really delved into this stuff, I was freakin' blown away. It was like looking at a future that seemed impossibly abstract and complex and just crazy. Like, this is some forreal Neuromancer shit. And np - money is a really abstract concept and it helps to tether it to something real and tangible. Otherwise it's just confusing.

And yup - you just give them your public key. They can't do shit with your public key except send Bitcoin to it. Once it is in your wallet, you can withdraw it to an exchange that has fiat pairings (like BTC/USD). You "trade" the bitcoin for USD and withdraw the cash to your bank account. Coinbase is the easiest to use for this, but there are more and more exchanges popping up that can do this without the high fees that Coinbase has. It's admittedly a work in progress in that the whole process could be made simpler.

There is a second option. If you use an exchange wallet (like your Bitcoin public key on Binance), you can trade the Bitcoin for one of a few "stable coins". These are cryptocurrencies that mimic fiat currency. There's a good one called US Dollar Coin (USDC) which always holds a value of $1/coin. The point of stable coins is they're safe tokens for store-of-value that you can later use to repurchase Bitcoin or any crypto when the price goes down (thus you have more of the crypto and sell when the price goes up again).

OR you can just store the value in USDC so you don't have to rush to sell your Bitcoin before the price drops or something. It would look like this: I receive Bitcoin -> sell BTC/USDC -> I now have X amount of USDC that mimic the US Dollar -> cash out the USDC whenever I want.

tldr: Yup - just send them your public key. Once you receive the Bitcoin, you can trade it for US Dollar on an exchange like Coinbase and withdraw the funds to your bank account.
 
Wow thank you so much! Now the question...how do I get into this? It would be super cool to have some of this blockchain action under my belt.
How can you buy crypto?

I wrote a guide a long time ago on how to purchase and send Bitcoin. It's written for people who are buying my content, so just ignore the stuff about sending the crypto to someone. Also, Coinbase at the time was the only exchange where you could use your bank account (an entry point). Now, you can use Kraken or Gemini - both good exchanges.

Using Bitcoin as an example:

If you go the Coinbase route (probably the easiest and least confusing), once you buy your Bitcoin, you can either send it to your own private wallet (Electrum is a great desktop wallet) or you can use the Bitcoin on an exchange (I recommend Binance). Exchanges have built-in wallets for all the tokens they support - when you make an account, you just go to "deposit", select Bitcoin, and copy the address. You'll then "withdraw" the Bitcoin from Coinbase to that Binance address you copied. After that, you're free to trade the Bitcoin for hundreds of different cryptocurrencies. We're in a major dip market right now and a lot of cryptocurrencies are great investments.

Note: In the guide, there's an optional step where you can login to Coinbase Pro (at the time I wrote it, this was called GDAX - they're the same thing). You deposit your Bitcoin from Coinbase to Coinbase Pro (no addresses needed - your accounts are automatically connected). Then you withdraw to Binance from Coinbase Pro. The reason I put this step is it's a bypass - you bypass the fees you'd normally pay if you withdrew to Binance direct from Coinbase. Idk why they set it up this way.

Learning Resources:

Other things you can do is become active in learning about this stuff. Reddit is horrible for it. Like, I know my shit about cryptocurrency and I don't even post there because I'll get an onslaught of dudes freaking out about whatever if I post anything. Reddit is kind of this big circle jerk of arguing and whining in my experience.

Instead, I listen to podcasts and read the news a lot. I read about projects and whenever I invest in a cryptocurrency, I read all about their foundation, their whitepaper, goals/roadmaps, the team behind it. Anyway, I think there are two really great, positive places to start:

1) Andreas Antonopoulos. This guy is like king badass of crypto. I'm pretty sure people fund his entire life in Bitcoin just for being so awesome. He's a finance tech expert who gives Ted-talk style lectures on Bitcoin...and he makes it SUPER simple. He has a lot of great YouTube videos that are plain-english education. He wrote a book called "The Internet of Money" which is a collection of essays/lectures that discuss different aspects of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency - again, he has this weird way of making the most ludicrously complex ideas understandable to someone who doesn't know anything about finance or technology.

2) I've been on a huge kick with this guy called "The Modern Investor" on YouTube. He does daily videos that cover all of the current cryptocurrency news, updates, important events. I like him because he's not speculative or full of shit like a lot of other crypto channels (a lot of channels just post clickbait like BUY LITECOIN NOW ITS GONNA MOON TO $100,000 NEXT MONTH AND YOU'LL BE ABLE TO BUY DAT LAMBO!!!!). He's just a humble guy that tells the facts and is very careful not to shove his own opinions in your face. He has a playlist of videos that explain Bitcoin, Ethereum, the basics. His daily videos - I dunno...they might not mean anything to you until you learn more about the space? It's hard for me to tell because I'm so entrenched in this stuff with my day job, but down the road, it'd definitely be a good resource.
 
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Some notes (not necessary to understand BTC or crypto, but interesting nonetheless):

- The blockchain cannot be hacked. It's impossible to hack a decentralized network because there is no single entry point. The only security vulnerability is having your private key stolen, and the only way this can happen is if you keep your tokens on an exchange and that exchange is hacked (it's often noted that you should never use an exchange to store your tokens for this reason). Nobody can hack a private wallet - they'd have to literally get the private key from you in person.
I'm not a cryptocurrency person. But, I do have some issues with some of what you've said regarding hacking and theft of cryptocurrency. Thus, why I'm hesitant to get into it.

I haven't read through the entire thread. But, people should read up on some various ways people have had their cryptocurrency stolen. Not to scare them away from it. But, more from a security conscious aspect. One such article

Thanks for the thread, it's some interesting reading. As mentioned, I'm not in the cryptocurrency realm for a few reasons as there's a few things needed to get resolved before I dabble in it.
 
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I'm not a cryptocurrency person. But, I do have some issues with some of what you've said regarding hacking and theft of cryptocurrency. Thus, why I'm hesitant to get into it.

I haven't read through the entire thread. But, people should read up on some various ways people have had their cryptocurrency stolen. Not to scare them away from it. But, more from a security conscious aspect. One such article

Thanks for the thread, it's some interesting reading. As mentioned, I'm not in the cryptocurrency realm for a few reasons as there's a few things needed to get resolved before I dabble in it.
You're absolutely right to be wary - I've posted quite a few walls of text and a lot of info today, so I don't expect you to have read it all, but this is why I tell people never leave your coins on an exchange. The Mt. Gox hack was one incident that I referenced as probably the worst case of hacking in crypto history. Cold storage wallets exist for this reason - the only way they can be hacked is if you give someone your keys (and the actual physical wallet if this is what you have).

Also, everyone should be wary of phishing scams. Just like every industry, space, economy - phishing exists in crypto. Last, there is the ICO issue (I'll probably go into ICOs later down the road if someone is interested). Basically it's the analog of an IPO in the stock market. Until recently, though, ICOs were unregulated and fake companies were popping up stealing hundreds of thousands in Ethereum with the false promise of a new coin. I'd warn anyone to be wary of ICOs or anything that ever asks you to send your crypto. And if you're not day trading, use a desktop or cold storage wallet and keep those coins out of the exchanges!
 
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You're absolutely right to be wary - I've posted quite a few walls of text and a lot of info today, so I don't expect you to have read it all, but this is why I tell people never leave your coins on an exchange. The Mt. Gox hack was one incident that I referenced as probably the worst case of hacking in crypto history. Cold storage wallets exist for this reason - the only way they can be hacked is if you give someone your keys (and the actual physical wallet if this is what you have).

Also, everyone should be wary of phishing scams. Just like every industry, space, economy - phishing exists in crypto. Last, there is the ICO issue (I'll probably go into ICOs later down the road if someone is interested). Basically it's the analog of an IPO in the stock market. Until recently, though, ICOs were unregulated and fake companies were popping up stealing hundreds of thousands in Ethereum with the false promise of a new coin. I'd warn anyone to be wary of ICOs or anything that ever asks you to send your crypto. And if you're not day trading, use a desktop or cold storage wallet and keep those coins out of the exchanges!
There's definitely a lot to it, and I'm slowly learning on it myself. At some point, I'll dip my toe in and test it out. But, you do hit on a very specific aspect, although indirectly in this post: In many ways, cryptocurrency is still very dependent upon the existance of other currencies which already exist. While there's some value within cryptocurrencies themselves, the real value is exchanging it back to traditional currencies.

In many ways, I see cryptocurrencies morphing the existing financial systems over the next few years. Blockchain technology is already being integrated into other areas, and traditional financial institutions are making use of it as it is enough to the point where these two will merge. The major flaw with cryptocurrencies is that there's no backing of the funds, especially in case one happens to have their coins stolen. Losing $50 in a robbery is one thing. Losing thousands of dollars of cryptocurrency, and not having some kind of backing such as what is provided by the FDIC per account is a very large, and sour, pill to swallow. Especially when it takes very little time to lose that money, and most of the backend work is irreversable (such as mail/phone takeover) before the damage is already done.
 
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Most of what i've been reading on crypto has to do with the big downfall in its value. I'm guessing there's still a bright future in the crypto landscape in spite of that? My question is - where do you see the crypto landscape in a year? 5 years? X years from now? or does the volatility make it a little hard to predict for the time being?

(if you addressed this somewhere in your previous responses, just copy & paste. i'll get around to reading all your text eventually)
 
Most of what i've been reading on crypto has to do with the big downfall in its value. I'm guessing there's still a bright future in the crypto landscape in spite of that? My question is - where do you see the crypto landscape in a year? 5 years? X years from now? or does the volatility make it a little hard to predict for the time being?

(if you addressed this somewhere in your previous responses, just copy & paste. i'll get around to reading all your text eventually)
Yeah, it is kinda impossible to make *bold* predictions about the price of crypto assets - it's probably easier to make predictions about how it will change actual markets.

Because the crypto market is so volatile and new, definitive predictions are speculative to the point that they're akin to gambling. That's not to say I don't have a somewhat analytical opinion on where prices may go:

Bitcoin could very well go into six figures someday; it *is* possible. I think we will see a new ATH when the NYSE launches Bitcoin trading. If the SEC had approved the Bitcoin ETF (cancelled last week, sadly), that would have been pretty huge. Once crypto index funds go live, we'll probably see a lot of bullish price action. A very interesting thing is that major banks and Wall Street investors have been stockpiling literally millions in Bitcoin over the last 9 months. The general sentiment is that they're poised for a major uptrend. It's not really if so much as when.

Then you have the curious case of assets like Cardano (ADA), TRON (TRX), EOS and Ripple (XRP). These are all insanely valuable products and use-cases and I cannot imagine any of them existing below the $5 threshold in 2-3 years. That's some pretty huge returns for, say, TRX (currently just shy of 3 cents).

The biggest misconception about crypto valuation is that these prices would equate to impossible market caps - an antiquated idea that comes from traditional stock market traders. In crypto, market capitalization is fickle and odd - it's a very strange equation of circulating supply, liquid and static/escrow supply, then you've got variables like coin burns (where entire portions of supply are destroyed to regulate circulation) and mining reward halvings, when rewards per block are cut - so not only do we have the principle of scarcity, but also a very new principle: regulated accessibility. This would be like if during the gold rush, gold was still at-large but became harder to mine over time and as circulation grew.

The "bubble" has burst multiple times. We are currently at the tail end of a market correction. 2018 was a rough year that really separated the get-rich-quick schemers from those who have faith in this technology. In Dec 2017, Bitcoin reached just shy of $20,000 USD. Everything went super bullish - I'm talking 1,000% increases in a day, every asset hitting an ATH (all-time-high). It drew a LOT of new people to crypto and they were all sorely disappointed in 2018 when the market correction happened. Meanwhile, all the folks who have been around a while were unfazed and totally used to it.

A really fascinating and different perspective however is to look at the all-time-low price of Bitcoin for every year - it tells a very different story, one where the value has increased exponentially all the way up to 2019.

Anyway, a few economists I work with think we'll see a few more of these ATH/correction cycles until things stabilize. This whole thing is also like the dotcom era in that hundreds of assets probably won't make it but the ones that do will be your "Amazon and Apple".
 
I've answered your questions in detail and with a tl;dr at the end in case you (and others) just want the straight answer.

1) So you're thinking of "Bitcoin Cash". Because Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are open source (technically anyone can edit and add to them), occasionally there are major changes in the blockchain protocol. These major changes will require everyone to upgrade to the newest version of the software (nowadays, exchanges and wallets typically do this automatically). But sometimes, not everyone agrees with the changes...

When a consensus cannot be reached, or there is a dispute about an upgrade, there is what we call a hard fork: blocks made according to a new set of rules are considered invalid according to the old rules, and vice versa. This leads to a split in the blockchain: from that point, miners (who validate transactions) and users must decide which set of rules to enforce. So now you end up with two versions of the cryptocurrency that cannot be reconciled. (There's also soft forks, where the two resulting softwares are mutually compatible, and the validity of the blockchain as a whole is accepted by both rule sets).

What happened here was a Bitcoin hard fork that resulted in Bitcoin (remaining as-is) and a new cryptocurrency (the upgrade) called "Bitcoin Cash" (the ticker was BCH). Bitcoin Cash actually had its own hard fork a few months ago which resulted in Bitcoin Cash Satoshi's Vision (BCHSV) and Bitcoin Cash Adjustable Blocksize Cap (BCHABC). Bitcoin Cash didn't remain the same because both sets of rules were totally incompatible with the original Bitcoin Cash.

This was actually a really weird point in the crypto space because it caused, this like, "mining war" among all the Bitcoin Cash miners and programmers - these groups were fighting for control over their unique ticker signs and everything. Bitcoin Cash was kind of a shitty project and the price has since crashed pretty badly. They also tried to masquerade as the "real bitcoin" which was seen as dishonest and misleading, which is why I'm not surprised you asked this question. A lot of people thought Bitcoin Cash was Bitcoin and vice versa when BCH first launched.

There are other things like "Ethereum Classic" (ETC) which was an offshoot from an Ethereum hard fork.

tl;dr Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash were two separate cryptocurrencies. This happened because of a software upgrade (called a "hard fork") that some people agreed with (thus, Bitcoin Cash was born), and others didn't (Bitcoin remained the same). Bitcoin Cash no longer exists as it has since had its own hard fork into two totally new cryptocurrencies called Bitcoin Cash SV and Bitcoin Cash ABC.

2) The USB wallets are a form of "cold storage", meaning your tokens are stored offline. Hardware wallets like Trezor are used for maximum security - literally nobody can access your tokens without having the actual physical USB wallet AND your private key. This also means you cannot send or receive any bitcoin (or other crypto - different wallets are compatible with different tokens). You'd have to plug it in and access it, then deposit the bitcoin using the public key of your USB wallet.

There are three ways to acquire, say, Bitcoin:

1) Buy bitcoin on an exchange that has a BTC/USD pairing (this just means you can trade USD for bitcoin - normally you add funds from your bank account to the exchange, then trade the USD for the Bitcoin).

2) Receive bitcoin from someone as payment for something, or pay them cash and they send you the Bitcoin (in person, or on a private peer-to-peer exchange). They send their Bitcoin to your public key (your wallet). If your cold storage wallet is unplugged, it's offline and cannot receive the tokens.

3) Mine Bitcoin. Not really viable anymore as the rewards are minuscule and require an insane amount of hashing power (there was this one Bitcoin mining facility where they used the heat generated from all the GPUs to power a potato farm!) China is BIG on Bitcoin mines - they'll have these huge warehouses with thousands of GPUs hashing out algorithms for Bitcoin. There's a cool Vice short-doc about them.

The usual method is to buy on a fiat pairing exchange like Coinbase, yes. Then, you can send your crypto off to an exchange like Binance to trade for any of hundreds of crypto. Or you can send it to your personal wallet. Leaving your tokens on an exchange is usually not the best idea, as the exchange could be hacked or compromised (see: the Mt. Gox hack), though this is becoming way less frequent. Coinbase is also making terrible business decisions lately and they routinely screw you with their insane fees and wait-times so a lot of newer exchanges are adding USD or Euro pairings to take over. Binance has announced that they are adding fiat pairings, which means it will become an entry point for buying crypto with fiat currency (I think Euro is first in line for this).

tldr: Yes, you still have to purchase the Bitcoin from some sort of entry point like Coinbase, or directly from someone with Bitcoin. You can then send the Bitcoin to your cold storage wallet (the USB wallet).
Wow, you're awesome! Thank you for answering my questions! This all makes a lot more sense now. I know I still have a lot to learn though.
 
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That's a lot of info, I have been getting paid in Bitcoin for maybe 6 months now, and it is by far my favorite way to get paid (dash would also be nice because of the faster transaction times and lower fees but they are still limited on cash out options)

I have lost a decent amount to 3rd party companies so the extra I have to pay in fee's when making withdraws ( I cash out through bitcoin ATM's or using a service that takes the bitcoin and then sends a direct depoist for it (which im always really edgy about using because, once you send them the coin...you just gotta hope they arnt going to turn around and close down the site) but they have been pretty good for the couple of payments I have used them for.) makes it worth it for me to have peace of mind that im not going to try and access my money and find that my account has been closed and the funds of the account have been sized.

Bitcoin works well for sending currency that dosnt need to be done quickly, (like taking your pay from a site) 20 minutes or a few hours are not going to make a huge difference, but you would never want to use it for something like paying for groceries because the transaction times are far to long, you would have to wait for anywhere from 10 mins to a couple of hours (how long a transaction takes to be confirmed by the network depends on the amount you give as a fee and the congestion of the network) for things that need instant transfers there are better solutions such as dash, litecoin, ripple, and a few 100 others at this point that have all worked to address this issue but lack the maturity of bitcoin to have the infrastructure to be able to cash out to a local currency with something as simple as an ATM (there are atms that offer to buy multiple currencies from you, but they are not as widespread as pure bitcoin ATM's.)

If anyone wants to check their local area for bitcoin ATM's and the fees of those ATM's (they all charge different fees based on who's operating them) I'll leave a link below.
If you want to buy bitcoin, you can also buy bitcoins at the bitcoin ATM's, but I cant comment much on the fee's and pricing as I dont buy I just earn.

https://coinatmradar.com

I started learning about bitcoin in 2009 when my first paypal account got closed. (by learning I mean reading the white paper, reading through all the information on github, taking cryptography courses because I wanted to understand exactly how it worked, so I get why people have a hard time understanding what it is and how it works, it took me 4 years to get a good grasp over everything from how wallets are created and secured to how the network is maintained to how simple transactions run.)

Another interesting project I found is:

ENJIN - Enjin basically is being used to enforce ownership over digital goods. It's mainly used for games right now but it has so much potential beyond that that I'm not sure they thought of. They pitch it as a game developer you can create an in game item where only a certain amount is available, players can then purchase that item just like they do with all in game items currently, the major difference is that if that game closes the player keeps the item in their enjin wallet. This allows for them to sell and trade the items, but they can also import those items into other games (as long as they are using the enjin framework and the item is compatible.)

This opens up a world of possibility's for digital content. say for example you release video or photo set, if you were to find copy of it online you would know where the original leak came from because each video would contain it's own unique transaction ID. From my understanding of where Enjin is at the moment it's still pretty far from being able to handle multimedia transactions but it defiantly seems like a step in a good direction.

If anyone has any questions about getting paid in Bitcoin or cashing them out into local currancy or if you didnt understand something I wrote (I kind of ramble when I type), let me know and I'll try and explain it a bit better.
 

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A really fascinating and different perspective however is to look at the all-time-low price of Bitcoin for every year - it tells a very different story, one where the value has increased exponentially all the way up to 2019.
This 100x this, people are always like but the price dropped so much, it's dead etc etc...and im like but your looking at it from the wrong perspective, rather than comparing the high to the current price, people need to be looking at the lowest values for each year to see the growth.
 
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Yep, this is true - BTC requires about six confirmations until it's embedded enough in the blockchain to be absolutely non-contestable. Each confirmation (block) is timed to take 10 minutes to hash and verify. So there's your 10 minutes - 1 hour. There are coins that operate at exponentially greater speeds. On the bitcoin core protocol, transactions are an infinite series of input->output verifications and the miner fee is extracted as (output = 2 to n) in every transaction. This can be manually changed to a higher amount OR one could run a full bitcoin core node and verify their own transactions instantly. These are the only ways to enforce instant transactions. They're obviously not very practical.

This is why I started using a variety of alt-coins for different purposes. I'm wary of privacy coins like Dash and Monero as stores-of-value in the long-term given the SEC has targeted them, which is somewhat an adoption death sentence. Litecoin blocks take 1/4th of the time of BTC to mine and the token has adequate privacy features, so I actually see it making a bit of a comeback. There will also be another reward issuance cut soon, creating more scarcity. OK now I'm getting too into technical shit that's not gonna help anyone. My bad.

Awesome to hear that you're actually using cryptocurrency. I think a major problem in the crypto community is everyone just sees $$$ and not the potential of the technology. Sure, it's great for speculative investing (I mean, really great tbh), but there's a ton of use-cases out there.

This video explains some of the potential use-cases for cryptocurrency that are just fucking incredible.

Edit: Ohh yes, Enjin is really cool! Bakkt and MimbleWimble are also pretty amazing platforms that have been conceived in the last year.
 

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Awesome to hear that you're actually using cryptocurrency. I think a major problem in the crypto community is everyone just sees $$$ and not the potential of the technology. Sure, it's great for speculative investing (I mean, really great tbh), but there's a ton of use-cases out there.
Yea one of the biggest issues with cryptocurrency is that people use it as cryptostock, they buy, and hold and wait for something to happen and it seems that people dont realize that if they dont actually use it then it never ends up getting adopted, and causes massive swings in the price or even worse they bought into it with no idea what it is for or how to use it, so they just leave it sit there hoping it will go up in value.

The point of currency is circulation, if no one spends it then no one is gonna want to take the time to set it up as a payment method which leads to the whole "But you cant spend it anywhere" problem. Then theres the whole separation of cryptocurrancy and utillity tokens, which is probably a bit to in depth for this thread but I think it is something that people should defiantly try to understand if they are looking into purchasing any crypto, to just understand what the main point of it's creation is and how it's intended to be used.

Crypto at the moment is a lot like the .com boom where all you had to do to get funding was go in with a pitch of "I have this idea for a website" only now instead of website the buzz word is blockchain

The biggest hurdle that decentralized crypto seems like it needs to find a way to overcome is asic mining (these are computers that are built to do one specific thing, and that is to verify transactions of a specific coin) it used to be that you would mine using your computers cpu and then a little later your computers GPU, this is what made it decentralized as anyone who had a computer could then get it set up for verifying transactions, now with the majority of coins thats not the case, since as soon as a coin starts showing promise these companies will start creating asic machines for them.

Obviously ripple being a centralized coin dosnt have this issue, but I havnt read enough about it to have any judgment on it either way. The original point of bitcoin was that being decentralized no one can cook the books so to speak as everyone can access the entire transaction history, (if they took the time to learn how to read it) and no intermediary can block payments from going through but if that ledger is centralized then adjustments can be made, new coins released and payments can be blocked. From what I have read about rippple it's just a bank account and nothing more, the central authority still has control over all the important aspects of it. It's one of the reasons I never read more into ripple, I just couldn't see the problem that it was trying to solve.

I'm gonna leave it there I have a feeling we may be getting off topic, easy to do with something as massive as a subject of blockchain technologies
 
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Yea one of the biggest issues with cryptocurrency is that people use it as cryptostock, they buy, and hold and wait for something to happen and it seems that people dont realize that if they dont actually use it then it never ends up getting adopted, and causes massive swings in the price or even worse they bought into it with no idea what it is for or how to use it, so they just leave it sit there hoping it will go up in value.

The point of currency is circulation, if no one spends it then no one is gonna want to take the time to set it up as a payment method which leads to the whole "But you cant spend it anywhere" problem. Then theres the whole separation of cryptocurrancy and utillity tokens, which is probably a bit to in depth for this thread but I think it is something that people should defiantly try to understand if they are looking into purchasing any crypto, to just understand what the main point of it's creation is and how it's intended to be used.

Crypto at the moment is a lot like the .com boom where all you had to do to get funding was go in with a pitch of "I have this idea for a website" only now instead of website the buzz word is blockchain

The biggest hurdle that decentralized crypto seems like it needs to find a way to overcome is asic mining (these are computers that are built to do one specific thing, and that is to verify transactions of a specific coin) it used to be that you would mine using your computers cpu and then a little later your computers GPU, this is what made it decentralized as anyone who had a computer could then get it set up for verifying transactions, now with the majority of coins thats not the case, since as soon as a coin starts showing promise these companies will start creating asic machines for them.

Obviously ripple being a centralized coin dosnt have this issue, but I havnt read enough about it to have any judgment on it either way. The original point of bitcoin was that being decentralized no one can cook the books so to speak as everyone can access the entire transaction history, (if they took the time to learn how to read it) and no intermediary can block payments from going through but if that ledger is centralized then adjustments can be made, new coins released and payments can be blocked. From what I have read about rippple it's just a bank account and nothing more, the central authority still has control over all the important aspects of it. It's one of the reasons I never read more into ripple, I just couldn't see the problem that it was trying to solve.

I'm gonna leave it there I have a feeling we may be getting off topic, easy to do with something as massive as a subject of blockchain technologies
Man, I could chat with you all day about this stuff but I'm gonna keep my promise to not get too technical or self-aggrandizing here lol

You should check out Cardano and their solution to the very issues you've mentioned (the ASIC mining conundrum). Promising stuff. Also, Ripple is one of the companies I work with so hit me up if you ever want info or clarification as to what they're actually trying to do with XRP.

That said, if anyone is interested in utility tokens, Coinbase launched an educational program called Coinbase Earn - they have these super simple videos explaining two utility tokens thus far: ZRX and BAT. If you have an account with them, they'll actually give you some of the tokens for free so you can try using them. I kinda hate Coinbase but I do appreciate that they launched this program. The videos are like 2 minutes each and do a great job of explaining the tokens.