Cryptocurrencies and Blockchains

In the last decade, words like Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, Non-Fungible Tokens, and Bitcoins have slowly crept into the everyday vernacular. Whether you hear these words on the news, your favorite Podcast, or even in daily chit-chat by the water cooler, you may feel like many of us...confused. This new wave of technology-meets-money may be over your head (it definitely feels like that to me). Thankfully, an expert panel of leaders and enthusiasts in Cryptocurrency recently held a webinar answering some of those burning questions you might have. And defined the words that many of us are always too embarrassed to ask what they mean.

What is Cryptocurrency?

Jennifer Maden, Assistant Dean and the Director of the MBA program at the Rohrer College of Business, says, "It's digital money that operates separately from a bank. It can be used similar to cash around the world. It is a currency that takes the form of tokens or coins and exists on a distributed and decentralized ledger; while some cryptocurrencies have ventured into the physical world with credit cards or other projects, the large majority remain entirely intangible. Cryptocurrencies are almost always designed to be free from government."

What is a Blockchain? 

"Blockchain is the technology that enables the existence of Cryptocurrency, among other things," says Maden. "It's a decentralized ledger of all transactions across a peer-to-peer network."

What is an NFT?

Jason Salvator, Program Coordinator in the Rohrer College of Business and an avid supporter of Cryptocurrency, says, "A Non-Fungible Token, or an NFT, are intended to provide authentic ownership of a unique piece of digital information. Non-Fungible means that there is nothing equal to that item. Example, if a friend borrows my car, they can't return another car to me and say it's the same thing. They're not fungible, so that's one way to explain it. So a Non-Fungible Token takes this concept and makes it digital through the use of blockchain technology. And just as in some examples of common NFTs nowadays, it can be a digital piece of art, a digital sports collectible, a piece of music, or anything digital really, where there is no one like the other."

A burning question that a lot of people have is: which cryptocurrencies are worth investing in? Dr. Daniel Folkinshteyn, Associate Professor of Finance and founder of Bitcoin OTC trading platform, warns to be careful. "I'm not going to say exactly which of the 10,593 asset-like projects have any value, but there's something that if you're thinking of putting some actual money into an investment...it is a case of you needing to very carefully think about what are the long-term implications of the way the system is designed."

The expert panelists sunk their teeth into discussing the future of the digital world and how Cryptocurrency and NFTs can make an impact. They discussed tangible benefits of Cryptocurrency if there would be mass adoption of Cryptocurrency, the benefits of NFTs and the ecological impact of cryptocurrencies.

Want to hear what the experts had to say? You can access the previous webinar here.

Feel like you missed out on the first webinar? You're in luck! On Wednesday, October 20, an expert panel will host the Crypto and Blockchain for Social Good webinar. Click the link to register.

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