As a professional guitarist, I'm immersed in a continuous debate about technology. We guitarists debate tens and thousands of little issues in online forums, on Facebook and in person. What strings provide the best value for money? Are U.S.-made guitars still more advanced than those made in Mexico? Which "stomp-box" could make me sound exactly like Jimi Hendrix? You name the issue, there'll be multiple opinions, all held passionately.
But there's one overarching divide between the "purists" and the rest. I maintain that it's preferable to possess several guitars and amplifiers to obtain different sounds - one rig for blues, another for jazz, an additional for country, and so on. The modernists say you are able to just use any old guitar and amp plus a fancy piece of digital "modelling" equipment that will make them appear to be what you want.Block Chain Software
More often than once I've done shows with such "modern" players, only to view in amusement as their fancy digital toolkit broke down, leaving them stranded. My old-fashioned Fender Telecaster and Deluxe Reverb amp then steal the show. There's a profound lesson in there... one that you must take to heart as it pertains to your money.
What If the Power Goes Off?
The modern world is just a kaleidoscope of electronic gadgets and systems that produce possible things we only dreamed about as kids. Thanks to our electronic world, you can buy a home from your cellphone, see what the night sky appears like in real time on one other side of the entire world, or profit from nanosecond differences in trading times in the stock market. All before you get out of bed. Just like my "modern" guitar friends, many individuals appear to take it for granted that the digital systems that underlie these miracles - the Internet, for example - are eternal. So when I hear someone make plans that assume uninterrupted connectivity, I think to myself: "Imagine if the ability goes off?"
Which brings me to one of the most frightening ideas I've encounter in a while.
A U.S. tech giant is reportedly working on a software platform based on the infamous digital currency "Bitcoin." The concept is to produce it possible for major currencies such as the dollar or euro to work like Bitcoins. Anyone could transact with other people in the world directly, bypassing banks completely. Just log on, send your money and you're done.blockchainsoftware
This promises a global without any banks, no fees and no hassles... but plenty of danger.
Everybody knows that counterfeiting is just a risk with paper money. This is exactly why individual bills have serial numbers on them. But the exact same pertains to digital currencies. Unlike physical money, the electronic files that represent digital currency may be duplicated exactly, without any trace. Since spending an electronic dollar doesn't delete the electronic data that represents it, and in the absence of banks and their accounting systems, several other way is required to prevent that dollar from getting used again by the exact same person - so-called "double-spending."
Bitcoin accomplishes this by means of a "block chain." Every couple of minutes, a small grouping of all recent Bitcoin transactions is established, called a block. This block is then quickly distributed throughout the Bitcoin system, where it is added to the ongoing chain of all Bitcoin transactions (hence the name). Like that, if somebody who has already spent certain Bitcoin (and has not received it back legitimately from a next party) tries to pay it again, the device will reject it as "counterfeit."
Bitcoin accomplishes this using a distributed system of anonymous "nodes" that keep an eye on the block chain. But the same thing could possibly be accomplished by a main server. The tech company working alone digital currency has therefore floated the thought of turning dollars and other currencies into digital form - with the central server controlled by central banks.
What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
I don't need to inform you what can happen under this technique if the ability fades: No moolah. Of course, the same thing can and does happen now, with so a lot of our transacting done by credit or debit cards. But at the least we have the option of keeping and using cash.
Am I paranoid in thinking that, no matter what the advantages of digital currencies - and bypassing banks is really tempting - the actual danger isn't power outages, but instead giving a main power the ability to turn our money on and off? The dangers of digital currency aren't small. All things considered, imagine the opportunities for monetary mayhem: digital wealth confiscation... automatic taxation... courts issuing warrants to seize your digital money...