Defining the Value of Digital Assets

Digital assets are more than just bitcoin and they are having an incredible impact on how legitimate and illegitimate transactions are conducted. Breaking it down to a simple level there are three basic forms of digital assets:

  • Digital currency is the electronic form of traditional currency. It is what is stored in a digital wallet, transmitted electronically and then turned into actual cash when withdrawn from a bank or ATM.
  • Cryptocurrency is the encrypted form of digital currency that uses blockchain technology to move it around. Cryptocurrency does not require a financial institution to verify the transaction.
  • Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are a one-of-a-kind digital asset that represents a real-world item such as photos, music, videos and trading cards.

Unfortunately, as with any new technology, bad actors are finding ways to exploit these assets while the rest of the world is still trying to fully understand them. Continue reading

A Bitcoin for Your Thoughts: Demystifying Blockchain

Blockchain is a new way to structure data for greater sharing and security. Its algorithm and distributed data structure were initially designed to manage online currency (like bitcoin) in a way that does not need a central administrator to distribute it among people. This removed the need for a middleman (like a bank) to authenticate that what was being transferred was real currency. Instead, this authentication happens because all of the nodes on a peer-to-peer network connected to the block (the asset, money, or data) have to "approve" its transfer to a new party (a good image of this process is found here).

Blockchain essentially provides an online ledger book. The records (or blocks) are individually secured using cryptography that links them to one another and gives each block its own timestamp and provides data about that particular transaction (who it went to). Looking at the ledger you can see where data started and where it went. Through cryptography and the intricate linkages, the blocks (the original asset) cannot be tampered with. This traceability and security has gotten the attention of the government as a way to better protect sensitive data and transactions. Agencies are investigating how to use it to speed procurement, secure employee records, and better enable electronic health records.[Tweet "The traceability & security of blockchain tech has gotten the attention of the Government. #GovEventsBlog"] Continue reading