Cryptocurrency is, in some respects, a great idea, but it receives a lot of criticism for its lack of actual use. Bitcoin, as an example, is used primarily for trading, and is often treated as a stock. Many want it to transition into being used as an actual currency—but there are many issues in the way before that happens.

1. Be Better

Cryptocurrencies’ competition

There is a lot of competition in the currency space. Not only do cryptocurrencies have to compete with each other, they have to compete with other platforms which include banks and other transactional services. As one example, consider Venmo—it offers many…


Photo by Jake Ingle on Unsplash

You were at the top of the world.

December 17th, 2017. It was just supposed to keep growing. Tim Draper was right when it hit $10,000, why wouldn’t he be right when he said it wasn’t a bubble? Up over 1000% in the course of the year, and you were ready for more of the same.

Your wife was really unsure about it but you were convinced—it really was a good idea to borrow a little from your three-year-old son’s college savings and a lot more from your personal savings to invest in Bitcoin. …


The introduction of tokens allowed for a new type of business model—but how valuable is this new system?

Recently, I’ve learned a lot writing and updating a large software project by way of my senior capstone project. It’s the largest project that I’ve been involved in every part of, from the database configuration to the development of the RESTful API to access that database to the frontend development using React. Writing it from scratch has certainly been difficult, and we’re still in the process. But I’ve had to change small parts of it, and that can be just as difficult when there are so many connected pieces.

An article I read a while ago captures these ideas pretty…


This article takes a look at cryptocurrencies practical use: how feasible would it be for Bitcoin to become a universal currency?

via stevespanglerscience.com

Bitcoin is a currency much like any other: it’s simple to transfer, it has some perceived value, etc. So why is it so rarely used as a “normal” currency? If it were to be adopted into the real world, what would the issues be (assuming the cryptocurrency’s current system)? Take a moment to immerse yourself in a world where everyone is using Bitcoin as the universal currency, and see what happens to the issues that people usually bring up:

Regulations

Using Bitcoin as a global currency assumes away all types of regulations that currently exist on Bitcoin’s use in the financial…


Blockchain-centric technology has received a lot of attention recently—but does it deserve it?

The crypto boom created a lot of hype around Bitcoin and the technologies that it uses. The most notable of these is the blockchain, an inventive solution to create a public, secure, and immutable ledger under the right conditions. Unfortunately, the excitement came with the same negatives that it always does with a field in computer science. People overestimate its capabilities, put it where it doesn’t belong, and promote its use before they’ve even learned about it. …


Many cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum have decentralization as a core selling point; but as mining becomes a collaborative task, they may be starting to lose that feature.

via WSJ

How Cryptocurrencies Share the Load

Let’s say you own a Bitcoin. How do people know it belongs to you? Well, somewhere in the Bitcoin blockchain, there is a block that contains a valid line denoting a transfer of a Bitcoin from another address to yours. At the time that that transfer occurred, it was transmitted out to the Bitcoin network, so that all miners would add your transaction to the next block they were mining (as long as there was a fee to incentivize them). …


Don’t judge smart contracts by their name—it’ll give you the wrong idea. Smart contracts are programmed scripts that execute based on the rules within the program, but their name seems to hold more meaning than anything else at this point. What makes them smart is their inability to be interpreted: they are a well-defined process, unlike a physical contract that lawyers might argue over. This is due to the set of rules being interpreted by an actual interpreter (most commonly the interpreter in the Ethereum blockchain). I want to very quickly be pedantic and say there is nothing smart about…


You’ve probably already heard that you shouldn’t play the lottery. Why would you? Your chances of winning the 999 million dollar Powerball prize are currently about 1 in 88 quadrillion, giving your $2 Powerball ticket an expected payout of a tenth of a thousandth (0.0001) of a penny. People don’t (or shouldn’t) play the lottery to win, they play it for fun.

via Unsplash

Bitcoin mining is a little different, as the costs are spread in a very different way, but we can make the transition: the main setup one needs with mining is an ASIC miner and a good electricity source…


In my last article, I wrote about the security of Bitcoin: in particular, the feasibility of a 51% attack on it. I want to point out not that this really isn’t that relevant (at least for Bitcoin), because there are many other ways to exploit flaws in the system. Cryptocurrencies boast their safety when it comes to technology related aspects and mathematically proven security, then gloss over the human flaws.

The login page for bitcoinwallet.com

This is the real culprit—password security. While 51% attacks get the hype factor, they’re not really the source of many security breaches. Passwords have been the issue with most of…


Bitcoin, being as popular as it is, is often the subject of debates on safety. The most notable contender for an attack is a 51% takeover, wherein someone (or a group of people) attempt to create and maintain a fake chain of blocks in the blockchain, in which they would likely need more than half of the computing power of the network. This article dives into how feasible it would be for this to actually happen.

Cryptocurrencies have grown incredibly quickly in the past decade: almost exactly a decade ago, Bitcoin was first released. As expected, with little to no…

Andrew Savage

Tufts student studying Computer Science and Math. I’ll be learning about cryptocurrency and blockchain and share those lessons through this blog.

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