TECH TERM OF THE WEEK: CRYPTOCURRENCY

Our very first tech term for 2014 is a very hot topic these days. You can’t turn on a cable news channel or read the business section of a newspaper…. HA!… I said newspaper. I’m so silly. Of course I mean you can’t scroll through the tech or currency verticals of a news platform’s online product without reading a story…I did it again…without reading a post giving us the latest, and occasionally sordid, details of the antics of this geek word.

This week’s tech term is cryptocurrency. Never heard of it you say? oh yeah, you have. Does bitcoin sound familiar? Well, that my droogs, is a cryptocurrency.

You know what before we get into that, I mentioned it earlier in the show and I just wanna know why? That’s all. Have I not been the most benevolent and kind Internet Kaiser in all of Internet kaiserdom? Have I not gone out of my way to produce the greatest geek-cuture and tech themed podcast in this and all known universes? (Trademark Pending) with the one and only J.D. Biersdorfer (The latest edition of iPad: The Missing Manual available in bookstores now) Haven’t I?

So why does Kanye West and a frickin’ dog meme have a Cryptocurrency before I do?!?!?!  You know what, forget it. Obviously I haven’t worn nearly enough leather kilts or have shiny enough fur for so… don’t even bother. Despite the hurt, I’m a professional so I’ll through this.

Before we can fully appreciate the technology behind Dogecoins and Coinyes, we must first understand what puts the crypt in cryptocurrency. Cryptography, that’s what.

Cryptography is the practice of the enciphering and deciphering of messages in secret code in order to render them unintelligible to all but the intended receiver. Cryptocurrency uses cryptography for security, making it difficult to counterfeit. The digital currency uses public and private keys  for transfers from one person to another. Now keys are pieces of information that determine the functional output of a cryptographic algorithm. Without the appropriate key it would be impossible to decrypt the virtual currency.

Okay, I can’t blame you if you’re all a bit skeptical and dismiss cryptocurrencies as just some silly internet fad but the reality is there are currently over 70 of them in play with bitcoin leading the market capitalization race with over 9 billion dollars.  Oh yeah, that’s billion…with a B.

If you’re thinking cryptocurrencies might be a prime target for some hacker baddies out there you’d be right on the money. If you also think Cryptocurrency has the potential for being the preferred currency of the dark web, rest your head. It has fulfilled it’s potential.

I’m not a luddite and I’m not as paranoid as many of you seem to think (Hey, I happen to look good in tinfoil hats, thank you very much) but let’s just say you can keep your bitcoins, litecoins and peercoins. In my world cash is still king…well until some enterprising type starts mining some of that digital moolah in honor of yours truly. When that happens you can bet I’ll be making it rain cryptocheddar…

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