Cryptocurrency is a new way of representing value that’s going through the throes of change and no one knows exactly what form of it will survive and thrive. It hit the mainstream years ago but 2021 seemed to whip people into a frenzy over Bitcoin, Ethereum, Tether, and several other popular forms. Valuations—the price in cash one could get when selling cryptocurrency—soared. But cryptocurrency doesn’t have an inherent price: it’s worth only what people will pay for it. In May 2021, most cryptocurrencies plunged in value by half or more.
Meanwhile, a similar furor arose over the introduction of “non-fungible tokens” (NFTs), a way to use an aspect of cryptocurrency to buy and sell unique ownership of digital assets, like born-digital art and clips from NBA basketball games. NFTs similarly suffered a giant drop in value from a peak in May 2021. What is this all about, anyway? Why did cryptocurrency and NFTs tank?
Take Control of Cryptocurrency ignores the hype in favor of the reality beneath it. This new form of currency is not going away, even if the price in dollars, euros, and renminbi may fluctuate madly. The future of the economy will incorporate cryptocurrency and you can get to know it in great but understandable detail with the help of author Glenn Fleishman.
This book teaches you what cryptocurrency really is and how it relates to government-backed money. Glenn walks through all the parts of a cryptocurrency in clear detail—like a wallet, blockchain, and transactions—and explains how cryptocurrencies produce permanent transfers. He also lets you see two different kinds of risk: the side effects of Bitcoin and others in consuming massive amounts of electricity and the rise of ransomware on the back of somewhat anonymized payments, and the risk to your pocketbook from scams and thefts (and how to guard against them).
Of course, you also learn how to manage cryptocurrency: find out what a wallet does and how to obtain one (and which might be a good fit); buying, selling, and exchanging cryptocurrency; and even purchasing or selling items in the physical world using cryptocurrency. Glenn also delves into how NFTs swept the news in early 2021, as creators and others staked a claim on defining an “original” item in a digital world, and how—and whether—to get involved in buying and selling NFTs.
Warning: Purchasing, holding, and selling cryptocurrency comes with a large variety of risks. This book doesn’t recommend investing in it or offer legal or financial advice. Instead, it’s an objective, friendly introduction to understanding and engaging in it, teaching a reader the risks so they can manage them.
This covers everything to do with cryptocurrency that you need to know to become an informed participant:
- Master the elements that let you get set up and successfully buy, sell, and hold cryptocurrency.
- Learn what the blockchain is and how it works to commit transactions irrevocably.
- Get to know all the parts of a cryptocurrency, like coins, transactions, and wallets.
- Dig into mining to understand the role that specialized participants in a cryptocurrency play in keeping the system running.
- Discover the details and basics of major cryptocurrencies, including how to understand transaction fees and pay just the right amount when you post a transaction.
- Avoid fraud by learning how hackers and malware might target you.
- Figure out the right cryptocurrency wallet for you and how to protect its secrets.
- Develop a working knowledge of proof of work and proof of stake, popular methods by which cryptocurrency ensure transactions are accurate and permanently committed.
- Learn why Bitcoin is using a significant percentage of the world’s electricity, and how that might change.
- The emergence of cryptocurrency is a challenge to governments, particularly tax agencies. Get a grasp on what you need to know to record your interactions and avoid running afoul of financial rules and penalties.
- Puzzle out what a non-fungible token (NFT) really is and whether it means anything—to you or anyone else.