Podcast: Understanding the world of Bitcoin & cryptocurrencies- part 1
Chris Becker, Investec economic strategist, goes into detail to help us understand Bitcoin, the blockchain and other cryptocurrencies such as Litecoin. This is the first part of a three-part podcast series exploring the world of alternative currencies.
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Look out for our three-part podcast series on cryptocurrencies exploring:
- Part one: What cryptocurrencies are and how they work - LISTEN BELOW
- Part two: The secruity, future and value of Bitcoin
- Part three: Bitcoin for business
In part one, Chris Becker explains the basics of "peer to peer digital currencies" that let people transfer value to each other over the internet, anywhere in the world, without any central gatekeepers or intermediaries involved.
The seemingly "unhackable" network is kept secure by encryption technology called blockchain that provides an open, distributed ledger that verifies transactions and sits on a network of computers, not controlled by any central third party.
The open-source nature of the Bitcoin code means that it is a “permission-less network” which allows other developers to build apps on bitcoin’s payment network, resulting in an explosion of new cryptocurrencies.
In this podcast, Chris talks about the success of cryptocurrencies being reliant on the technology being adopted by the masses, which, as we saw with the Internet and mobile phones, happened relatively quickly to say, the adoption of electricity.
Listen to podcast: Understanding bitcoin, blockchain and cryptocurrencies
Jump to the topics you're most interested in by scrolling to the time codes provided below
00:40: What are cryptocurrencies?
02:10: Blockchain –the technology underlying cryptocurrencies
03:46: Explosion of new cryptocurrencies like Litecoin
04:50: Blockchain is an open “permisionless network” vs current financial system gatekeepers
05:04: How other apps like Litecoin have bolted on to the Bitcoin network
06:18: How to create a wallet on Jaxx – a multiple cryptocurrency wallet app
08:58: What can you do with cryptocurrencies? How long until it becomes a mass adopted technology?
10:17: Regulation of cryptocurrencies in South Africa
11:18: The increasing value of cryptocurrency
11:49: Ethereum – a different type of cryptocurrency
12:23: What is a smart contract? Prism - example of a smart contract-based wealth management platform
13:37: Volatility in price of cryptocurrencies
14:34: Financial institutions’ response to cryptocurrencies
15:45: How does blockchain ensure security of information?
16:50: How you trade Litecoin with other people
17:35: How you convert cryptocurrency to cash
18:27: The growth of Bitcoin exchanges in South Africa
19:07: Blockstream – satellites cover the earth with a signal to carry bitcoin transactions, without having to use internet
About the author
Blockchain technologies lead
Chris commercialises decentralised blockchain technologies and digital assets for the benefit of Investec Private Banking clients. In his previous role, he was an economist and strategist conducting research for large corporates, asset managers and hedge funds for a decade before entering blockchain technologies full time in 2017.
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