“It’s gold for nerds.” — Stephen Colbert
To idealists, it’s a brave new idea. To your parents, it’s a hipster fad. Civil libertarians see it as a tool to help us escape the oppression of banks and governments. Politicians see it as an illegal enabler of deep-web sites like the Silk Road. It’s there as a way for the average consumer to regain some financial power. It’s there for criminals to abuse. Hero or villain, crypto is no longer a part of our distant future — it’s happening right now.
Currently, the cryptocurrency market is a bit like the Wild West. It’s unregulated, it offers a dose of anonymity that can easily be abused, and it seems impossible to control. Since it’s not regulated by the government, the current Bitcoin price varies wildly from day to day. Even though transactions are not taxed, they’re legally subject to taxation, something that’s not always easy for the government to enforce.
From the emergence of Bitcoin and Ethereum, all the way to Facebook’s Libra, blockchain technologies and crypto have been raising dust and changing the concept of finance as we know it. We know the whole thing’s exciting and innovative. But is it safe?
Since cryptocurrency transactions operate on open online ledgers, the need for a trusted intermediary is completely eliminated. Given the fact that banks build their entire business on being trusted intermediaries and handling transactions for other people, the very existence of cryptocurrency exchanges is an affront to them. Banks are worried, governments are terrified, financial experts are torn between glee and gloom, and consumers simply don’t know what to think. How will this affect them?
We’re here to answer this question for you.
Blockchain technology is changing the world of finance and giving us a tool that could potentially transform global law, commerce, and politics. And the danger it presents? Well, that lies mostly in the fact that cryptocurrencies aren’t well-regulated, which is bound to change as governments implement new measures to protect their financial systems.
If you want to know more about how the biggest blockchain companies and the cryptocurrencies they’ve created will affect everything and everyone, from the richest Wall Street banker to Average Joe, our handy infographic has you covered.