Updated: Apr 1, 2021
There are thousands of blogs, tweets, podcasts and YouTube videos about Bitcoin already out there but I realised that they are mostly created by companies trying to sell you something or by the mega-enthusiasts, who can sometimes get a bit over-excited about their bright future and tend to get very technical very fast. I want to take a step back and give a more balanced, independent view that is aimed at the layperson, keeping it nice and simple, pointing out the negatives as well as the positives and sounding a warning when there are dangers to be wary of. Think of it more for the average Facebook user rather than the advanced Financial Times or technology reader.
I want to start out by explaining the basics of Bitcoin, but not just the fact that it’s a new currency or how to make money from it, but the big picture too. About the whole new economy that is growing up around it such as new low-cost financial services, digital art and transparent supply chains. About how we all might use digital dollars, pounds or euros one day and how Facebook might get there first with its own global currency. Or perhaps China’s current project will beat them all.
I should point out straight away that this is all just my opinion. Don’t take anything I write or say as financial advice. If you’re tempted to put a toe in the water then make sure you’ve done your research and don’t over-extend yourself. (Twitter isn’t research!) Hopefully, though, I can point you in the right general direction and on a safe path to get you started. I’ll respect that you’re a grown-up and that you can make your own decisions.
What makes me qualified to write this? Good question. I’ve always worked in the professional IT industry, helping businesses with their technology while trying to look at it from the end user’s or consumer’s point of view. For the last few years I’ve been getting more involved with Bitcoin and blockchain and amongst other things have achieved certification from the University of California at Berkeley. So, I understand how Bitcoin works and how technology can have good and bad effects.
I hope these articles are useful and help you understand the whole thing a bit more.