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How Safe are Crypto-Currencies Anyway?

Are they here to stay?

My fascination with cryptocurrencies began when I realized it was a computer system that required no trusted third parties because every transaction on the ledger was distributed to every node of the network.  As an I.T Veteran I was intrigued at how they were sending this ledger to every active member and keeping it consistent while trading was happening every second. There are over eight million people trading just with blockchain.info wallets, that’s a lot of nodes to replicate to!

Bitcoin was one of the first crypto-currencies and the one I have investigated most. I chose it as Visa – who have the most powerful payments network in the world – considered extending their product using the bitcoin blockchain.  This to me speaks volumes!

While digging about finding ways to leverage off something that is busy changing the global economic landscape, I came upon the data-centers sustaining the bitcoin miners. It blew my mind! The miners must be bitcoining it! Imagine the cost of that infrastructure!   I had obviously missed that boat, I wasn’t going into the bitcoin-mining business anytime soon, that much was obvious. Still I was curious at the motivation behind those data-centers and found that only 25% of the bitcoins are left to mine, the other 75% are already in circulation. There will only ever be 21 000 000 bitcoin produced. So the 5 odd million still available to mine, valued at about $620.00 a coin, is worth $3 720 000 000.00  That’s a lot of motivation!

I was slightly put off with the negative media bitcoin received for being so active on the dark net.  Then I thought about how our other currencies pay for wars and other atrocities on man and mother earth, and wondered what’s the real difference, it’s just a currency after-all, a means of exchange!  Still it got me thinking, if it was the currency of choice for such a large percentage of dark nets economy, why had the powers that be not put a stop to bitcoin?  It turns out that the guy who developed the system made the code open-source so there are so many copies of it out there, it cannot be stopped.  Just as there are so many copies of the ledger that they would need to shutdown every node of the network at the same time and destroy the hard drives in order to ever bring it down.  Let’s face it, that ain’t going to happen!

So are crypto-currencies safe?  I think so!  What do you think?

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