What is Facebook’s Libra Blockchain?

What is Facebook’s Libra Blockchain?

Facebook announced the launch of its own blockchain cryptocurrency, Libra, in June 2019. The announcement was met with plenty of trepidation and an instant backlash, with people opposed to hat seems to be the tech giant’s next move into world domination. However, despite the negative reaction, it seems that Libra is not going anywhere. So let’s take a brief look at what Facebook’s Libra is:

Facebook’s Libra is a ‘stablecoin’:

  • A stablecoin is cryptocurrency that is not as volatile as cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum – the values of which can change hugely in a short space of time. This stability comes from the cryptocurrency being backed by treasury-regulated units with stable values. In Libra’s case, it is backed by bank deposits and short-term US government securities.
  • Volatile cryptocurrencies are great for trading – provided the volatility tends toward increasing in value more often, and to a greater degree overall, than the other way around, of course, but less so for direct payments in commerce, remuneration and other applications that need currency to maintain value on a day to day basis. ‘Stablecoins’ are intended to address this and they can be used to pay salaries and buy things at a fixed price- directly, without needing to be converted into regular currency.

Libra is a secure ‘blockchain’ cryptocurrency:

Blockchain technology offers the most secure way to store information online – and is thus the best type of platform for a secure cryptocurrency. Libra’s blockchain is a new blockchain that Facebook has created – unlike with some cryptocurrencies that use a the existing Ethereum blockchain). Facebook’s Libra blockchain has been developed by Facebook with a Swiss consortium. It’s independent and designed to work as a medium of secure and stable currency exchange across the world. Yes, Facebook is trying to get into everyone’s wallets now too!

When will Facebook’s Libra be launched?

The launch date is currently 2020…and you will be guaranteed to hear all about Facebook’s Libra blockchain, all over the global media, and in every talk show. Get your popcorn – and ponder the fact that Facebook will want you to buy all future supplies of popcorn with Libra.

Established digital currencies that are not regulated and Bitcoin

Established digital currencies that are not regulated and Bitcoin

With the establishment and proliferation of digital currencies in the past few years, it is important for investors to know what to buy.

Bitcoin (the original ‘crypto-currency’) is a well-known, and unarguably established digital currency. It’s here to stay.

Several other digital currencies that followed on from Bitcoin – the original ‘copy-cat’ cryptocurrencies – have also become digital currencies or established digital currency platforms. There is an important distinction here. Cryptocurrencies are virtual ‘coins’. Cryptocurrencies like Ethereum are secure digital currencies and software platforms that can be used for various applications using digital currency.

Another distinction is that not all digital currencies are ‘cryptocurrencies’ like Bitcoin.

The non-definite definition of ‘digital currency’:

Digital currency is money that is available in digital form as opposed to in a physical form (i.e. banknotes and coins). Types of digital currency include unregulated cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and other unregulated crypto and other virtual currency types, as well as bank-issued and regulated digital currencies.

That said – when we refer to established digital currencies here – we are concerned here with unregulated cryptocurrencies that can be traded globally. Like Bitcoin.

Besides Bitcoin – established unregulated digital currencies include:

According to Investopedia the 10 ‘most important’, established cryptocurrencies are:

  • Litecoin (LTC)
  • Ethereum (ETH)
  • Zcash (ZEC)
  • Dash
  • Ripple (XRP)
  • Monero (XMR)
  • NEO (NEO)
  • Cardano (ADA)
  • EOS (EOS)
  • Bitcoin Cash (BCH) – an investor and user-friendly spin-off (or ‘fork’) of Bitcoin.

Why is this list of established unregulated digital currencies important? Because of the fact that they are unregulated.

Changes in how these digital currencies work can be made by developers (with no global, government, treasury or central bank oversight). But once these digital currencies have been in circulation for some time, any changes made have to be agreed on by a world-wide network of of developers and invested parties. This makes them less open to corruption and safer bets for investors.

Countries that have rolled out their own digital currency

Countries that have rolled out their own digital currency

The rise of digital currency is due to many factors, but the main one is its independence from banks and international exchange regulations, and the security of blockchain technology. It’s shaking up the established global economic system.

So, where does that leave your traditional ‘National Treasury’ and centralised economic models?

Well, ‘if you can’t ban it, then join it’, and that’s exactly what countries around the world are now doing, planning to do, or exploring to some degree.

Global exploration of government-issue digital currencies:

For some countries, it’s not just about taking control. Digital currencies could open doors to creating new digital currency-based economic models and infrastructure. For some (such as Venezuela) this includes freeing themselves from the influence of the powerful US$.

Not all digital currencies are block-chain based, and some are set to use the Ethereum blockchain. The creation and roll-out of national digital currencies around the world is happening, but it’s in a state of flux. A notable feature is that smaller and more economically vulnerable countries have led the way for the large part (the exception being Dubai)

Countries (and one city-state) that already have a digital currency:

  • Tunisia: e-Dinar – the first digital currency roll-out in 2015
  • Senegal: eCFA -2016
  • Dubai: Emcash – 2017
  • Marshall Island: SOV – 2018
  • Venezuela: Petro – 2018
  • Peru: Perucoin – 2018
  • Sweden: E-Krona 2019

Globally Superpower plans for more than one or multiple digital currencies:

  • Russia: Crypytoruble and possibly another for Eurasia
  • China – over 78 patents registered, with 44 on blockchain.

Other countries are busy patenting future crypto currencies or are busy with pre issuance ‘tester’ projects. Not all countries are moving forward with digital currency, and some explored, and since backed off completely – for now. The UK is currently too busy with Brexit!

  • Countries actively exploring crypto currency issuance include The Bahamas, Uruguay, The Netherlands, Israel, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, among others.
  • Countries currently’ backing off’, include Germany, Switzerland, UK, Hong Kong and Japan.
  • Status for digital crypto currency plans are largely unknown for the USA and many other countries at this stage…
History of Bitcoin briefly and its creation

History of Bitcoin briefly and its creation

‘Bitcoin’ is a word that now trips off most people’s tongues. A year ago, if you hadn’t heard of bitcoin, or cryptocurrency, people might have assumed you’d just emerged from the cave you were living in – on another planet. Today, if you don’t talk about bitcoin and cryptocurrencies as if you know exactly what they are and how they work, they’ll assume the same – at best. So, everyone talks about bitcoin as if they are 100% ‘savvy’ on the subject, but how many people really understand it?

A brief history of bitcoin, and a basic explanation of ‘bitcoin mining’ are the foundation blocks in understanding bitcoin. So… ‘get bitcoin’… before you buy bitcoin.

A brief history of bitcoin:

Bitcoin was created as an online trading currency that could bypass centralised banking, and was totally secure, as you had to create it through an algorithm that found all its constituent parts. Essentially, it’s a math’s equation. No-one knew who created it at first, but it’s now thought to been invented by a man called Satoshi Makamoto. He invented it in 2007 and first used for a transaction in 2009.

Bitcoin is a ‘virtual’ currency. It exists in code, in blocks (bits) that are scattered all over the world’s virtual networks. Bitcoin has value and can be traded because you can find those blocks and link them together to make a ‘blockchain’. This value is based on how hard the code that links the blocks is to find (the equation or algorithm) – just like gold, diamonds and other ‘hard to get’ things in the ‘real world’. So, bitcoin is obtained through the process of getting the code – a process call ‘bitcoin mining’.

Bitcoin mining:

Mining bitcoin means running programs to find the blocks that make up an existing bitcoin and linking them together to make a transaction, a process that is rewarded through the issuance of new bitcoin – every 10 minutes. This process requires exceptional computer processing power, but it’s human driven. People mine bitcoin. This is crucial. The ‘value standard’ that underpins currency is a combination of effort, difficulty and rarity. If money grew on trees, and anyone could just go and pick as much as they wanted, it would have no value.

Still don’t get it? Don’t worry…it will be taught in schools soon! The only thing you need to get…is some bitcoin! Open your wallet for your cryptocurrencies and start spending and trading with debit cards that are now available.

The future of bitcoin in the global economy

The future of bitcoin in the global economy

Bitcoin was the original cryptocurrency. Since it’s creation, new cryptocurrencies have been introduced (the most notable being Ethereum) but bitcoin is still the most commonly known and traded cryptocurrency. It has been accepted around the world as a valid currency and today, many online stores readily accept payment in bitcoin.

The future of bitcoin in the global economy depends on cryptocurrency further inroads into ground-level transactions, and that looks likely. It won’t be long before you can ‘swipe your bitcoin’ at the grocery store, at the coffee shop and the corner café, pay the school fees, your car payment and your insurance.

Bitcoin’s rise and fall

Trust in this outcome (which would mean it’s here to stay) as well as bitcoin offering easy, unregulated online trading, and the approaching limit in the number of bitcoin that can be produced, sent bitcoin’s value through the roof. However, the meteoric rise in price scared off new investors and led to the creation of other cryptocurrencies to challenge bitcoin’s dominance. This inspired mass sell-offs in fear that the ‘bubble would burst’. This caused the sudden drop in the value after the initial boom, and uncertainty as to bitcoin’s future.

The future of bitcoin

Bitcoin’s future relies on its price, and that, in turn relies on demand – based on trust in its price. After the initial boom, when price fell heavily, and trust was damaged. But, importantly, it didn’t herald the end of cryptocurrency -or bitcoin. That makes ‘now’ a great time to invest in bitcoin.

Bitcoin has a rosy future in the global economy. It’s the most secure currency in the world, and the blockchain technology the underpins it offers 100% error-free transactions. Additionally:

  • Bitcoin is independent from banks, and so their ‘cuts’ from transactions
  • Bitcoin is global currency that doesn’t lose value across borders
  • Retail and other services going online
  • Corporations have embraced bitcoin
  • Converting bitcoin to cash is easy through most wallets and exchanges.

Bitcoin is here to stay. Converting it as easy as converting any other currency – and the fact that it is limited means that the future of bitcoin is as the ‘gold-standard’ in cryptocurrency – a blockchain equivalent to the US$ on the global market. Just keep in mind that the Governments are rapidly changing their tax regulations when it comes to Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, so keep up to date with your countries regs.

Cryptocurrencies – Debunking some myths

Cryptocurrencies – Debunking some myths

In this day and age, everyone has at least heard the term “cryptocurrency.” If you haven’t, you must be living under a rock! In recent years, cryptocurrencies- particularly Bitcoin- have been all over the news. In fact, a simple Google search for “cryptocurrency” yields over 101 million results. While cryptocurrency is a frequent topic of discussion, it tends to get a bad rap from media outlets. The negative stereotypes about cryptocurrencies that permeate the internet tend to frighten those interested in investing. But why do these stereotypes exist in the first place?

The price of cryptocurrencies fluctuate

This is simply reality. In fact, we have an entire article about why the price fluctuates. While the price of cryptocurrency does fluctuate, this is not a bad thing. However, many financial institutions spin this fact to make it look like cryptocurrency is dangerous and volatile. This is not the case.

Financial institutions are fearful of Cryptocurrencies

Financial institutions like banks are threatened by the existence of cryptocurrencies because it could put them out of business. For this reason, they spread misinformation and biased research about cryptocurrency to prevent their customers from exploring the exciting world of cryptocurrency. Your cryptocurrency wallet is anonymous and the security measures are impeccable when it comes to most exchanges.

The Black Market uses Cryptocurrencies

Because cryptocurrency is untraceable, there are some people that have used it to fund illicit activities on the black market. News and media outlets latch on to these stories and spread them around, which links the concepts of cryptocurrency and crime. However, cryptocurrency was not designed to fund illegal activities and should not be associated with them.

Most countries have accepted the fact that cryptocurrencies are not going away and have instituted Laws when it comes to Cryptocurreny Investments and Tax. It is very hard to deny something when it gains traction with the population.

At Bitcoin Facts, we are passionate about promoting the real facts about Bitcoin and debunking the myths. The truth about cryptocurrency is that it is fun and profitable- if you understand how to invest properly.