Cryptocurrencies, dominated by Bitcoin and Ethereum, are now being recognised by major vendors as a legitimate way to pay, just like PayPal was 10 or 15 years ago. Cryptocurrency is the most common application of Blockchain technology (which we looked at in the last TBT Vlog), which opens up new possibilities, and threats, for big and small finance operations around the globe.
To find out more about how cryptocurrency really works on the Blockchain and what its future may hold, our resident tech guru Rick Maltby shares his thoughts.
One fascinating area of cryptocurrency is the dramatic rise, and fall, of its value. Just take Bitcoin as the leading example. It's extremely volatile in its value, topping $15,000 at the end of 2017 before dropping to around $10,000 just weeks later.
Then there's regulation. How long can Bitcoin and others continue without a more robust and recognised regulatory framework? As an inherently secure, open and distributed network, third-party intervention is deliberately not part of the transaction system. It's uncertain how regulation can be truly effective in a Blockchain world, but surely it's only a matter of time.
Finally, there's the cryptocurrency mining side of things. Notoriously inefficient, it takes huge amounts of computing power to crack the mathematical puzzles that get rewarded with pieces of currency. Rick discusses the future of mining through the cloud, with clients of TBT such as Advania Data Centers specialising in such areas as the company offers cost-effective solutions by being situated in Iceland, where cheap geothermal power is prevalent.