Traditionally, money has always been associated with centralized power. Only national governments could issue money and all transactions could only be facilitated by banks. While this model worked well enough, for the most part, it still kept a lot of people out of the system, while those at the top of the hierarchy enjoyed massive profits. Now, digital currency is an attempt to democratize money, to decentralize it, make money more secure, fungible and functional. Digital currencies such as Bitcoin, Aurum Gold Coin , LiteCoin , OneCoin have the potential to be more transformative than anything we have ever witnessed before in the world of finance and commerce.
Since digital currency is still pretty much a recent invention, very few people truly understand how they work. But here’s what you should know – a single bitcoin costs $267 at the time of this writing. Mind you, bitcoins were only created 6 years ago. This indicates the tremendous potential of digital currencies.
Essentially, digital currencies are nothing but entries on a ledger or a spreadsheet maintained by an online community that keeps track of who has what, and owns how much. So, if an entry on your spreadsheet says that someone has 10 bitcoins, when that person sells their bitcoins to someone else, a new entry will be made on the spreadsheet signifying the new owner of the 10 bitcoins.
So bitcoins are really entries on a giant spreadsheet that keeps track of who owns what. The ownership and maintenance of the spreadsheet is completely decentralized, with several copies all over the world, so nobody can hack or manipulate the data.
This means that there is no central authority that dictates who gets what – with just a username and a password, you can buy or sell your digital currency to whoever you want to in the world, without being under the supervision or jurisdiction of any authority. You are in complete control of the transaction.
Can Digital Currencies Transform our Everyday Lives?
Yes, they can. For instance, for most transactions done through conventional sources, such as Western Union, you will have to pay a certain transaction fee. If you want to transfer money from one account to another, it costs you a lot of money, possibly around $50 to $60. So, if you are only making minor transactions, this is a needless expense.
That’s why digital currencies can be such a life saver here. They allow you to move money from one person to another without any transaction fee to be paid to a middleman or a broker enabling the exchange. The transaction is fast and instantaneous. Money is made available to the receiver immediately – which is not the case with financial transactions done through conventional sources.
The greatest benefit of digital currencies is seen in international payments, as they allow you to send money to people in small villages or towns in developing countries who may not have a bank in their location to receive the payments. They connect the world’s unbanked poor much more quickly to international financial markets.
Also, digital currencies enable global eCommerce in the real sense as there are many businesses that do not accept credit card payments from abroad because of fear of credit card fraud. But these businesses have no issue with getting paid through digital currency.
Another important benefit of digital currencies is that they offer a great way for people living in high-inflation countries to save money. An investment in bitcoins will be certainly worth more 5 years from now than buying gold or investing in fixed deposits, stocks and shares in a failing economy.
For example, hundreds of thousands of people from Greece have invested in bitcoins to hedge against their investments in the failing Greek economy. Bitcoins or other digital currencies are not tied to any nation or region, so regardless of what happens with the US dollar or with the Euro, they will continue to grow in strength.
Promising Digital Currency
There are several attractive digital currency apart from Bitcoin. Litecoin, for example, is a popular digital currency. Aurum Gold Coin® is a pioneer in digital currencies as each Aurum coin is backed up by 10 mg of pure gold as well as 0.01 fractions of the cryptocurrency, OneCoin. OneCoin is a promising virtual currency, which works as a Multi-Level Marketing business as well. OneCoin traders earn sizeable commissions by recruiting more people into the program.
While Bitcoin is the most popular digital currency, it is not the only game in town. You may find this article on the Top Bitcoin Alternatives in 2015 interesting. For more on Digital Currency, as well as other interesting technology-related topics, do visit www.techspecie.com.
Raghav Hegde, Bangalore
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