Bitcoin is not a ponzi scheme, pyramid, tulip bulb, or beanie baby, and despite over a hundred front page headlines claiming otherwise, it is also not dead. When we don’t understand a new concept, our minds try to connect it to something we are even slightly more familiar with. If throughout history we had always assumed anything new and innovative was a scam, and that everything (including money) should stay the same, we would still be living in the Stone Age and paying with pebbles. The name calling and proclamations of death have eased off somewhat, as the more tech savvy journalists and financial advisers have come to understand the significance of, at the very least, the technology behind bitcoin.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution is upon us, and there has been a dismal effort at best to prepare both students and the current workforce for upcoming jobs. Building upon the Third Industrial Revolution that among other things, first introduced us to digital technology, the Fourth will issue in an era of robots and automation, self-driving cars, nanotechnology, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, quantum computing, and for the sake of time, let’s just call the rest ‘smart-everything’. The speed of this innovational change is unprecedented, and will impact virtually every industry on a global scale. The Fourth Industrial Revolution will fundamentally change almost every aspect of our lives, making the need for basic digital literacy an issue that urgently needs to be addressed.
The three day Global Conference on Money Laundering and Digital Currencies, organized jointly by Interpol, Europol, and the Basel Institute on Governance, wrapped up January 18, 2017 in Qatar. In attendance was over four hundred financial crimes investigators and experts, looking to gain an understanding of what is needed to detect and fight crimes involving cryptocurrencies.
The Crypto Capitalism Center is a research project that collects and analyzes data on fintech and the rise of the bitcoin economy. Founded in 2014 by Jean-Philippe Vergne, a professor at Ivey Business School in Ontario, Canada, the data is used to publish unbiased, high quality research papers and to develop educational material. Since a lot of the existing publicly available research has been done with a definite slant toward whatever side of the bitcoin / fintech table you are on, the work done by the Center will be a valuable resource to regulators, policy makers, and others needing accurate information.
Within the industry, there is a divide in opinion as to whether or not it is a good idea to use web wallets. The lack of trust toward governments and financial institutions, as well as losses suffered due to some unscrupulous exchange operators and other scams, has left a bitter mark on a lot of people. This group believes that everyone should hold onto their own cryptocurrencies. What many of them fail to consider are the obstacles mass adoption faces if the only option people have is to store their funds on a downloaded desktop or mobile wallet.
Downloading a wallet, whether it is for bitcoin or another digital currency, has been a tough sell with the mainstream public. Whether it is because they erroneously feel you need a great deal of technology knowledge, distrust and fear downloading anything, or they simply suffer from sheer cryptocurrency bewilderment, it is clear there needs to be some sort of bridge that makes it both easier to get started and has a degree of familiarity people can relate to.