If you haven’t heard about Bitcoin, the first example of cryptocurrency, you’re not alone. Over 10,000 times per month people are Googling the question, “What is Bitcoin?” I’d heard about the cryptocurrency a number of times but still felt like I didn’t have enough of a handle on what it is and how it works, so I decided to invite an expert on the subject to talk with me for the podcast. On this episode, I chat with Trace Mayer, one of the leading experts on the Bitcoin phenomena. He’s not only going to tell us what it is, but also how it works, why it’s becoming more and more popular as a form of currency, and how you can get in on the Bitcoin movement.

How can a currency be digital in the first place?

Everything we’ve ever known and used as a currency has been tangible, something we can hold in our hands. But cryptocurrency is changing all of that. Now you can transfer value - money, as easily as you transfer a file to someone over email. Only it’s encrypted using the same industry leading standards that many banks and financial companies use so that the value is kept intact, safe from the eyes and hacks of crooks who might want to exploit or use it themselves. Every transaction is tracked. Ownership of every coin is known. And it’s gaining ground worldwide. Find out what cryptocurrency is and how it works by listening to this conversation with Trace Mayer.

What is it that gives Bitcoin its value? What’s to keep techies from simply inventing more?

When I first began this conversation with Trace Mayer I was a bit skeptical about the technology. But the more I got into the topic with him the more I understood that my skepticism was based on the fact that I didn’t understand the technology enough. As Trace began to explain to me how Bitcoin was first invented and the safeguards that have been built into it to ensure that its value is inherent and can’t be lost, it all started to make sense to me. You can learn more about how it works and why it’s thought to be the currency of the future, on this episode.

Could the government ever make Bitcoin difficult or illegal to use?

Much of the fear surrounding cryptocurrency has to do with the fact that it’s a completely new way of doing things when it comes to exchanging value in a transaction. Nobody really knows what the United States government or any government for that matter will do in attempts to regulate it, modify its use legally, or restrict it altogether. My guest today, Trace Mayer, thinks that any steps that governments take should be to support and encourage the use of digital currencies because it’s a more secure and stable currency than any that has ever existed - and makes exchange across currencies even easier. You can hear Trace’s argument and learn how Bitcoin is growing in value almost daily, on this episode of Capital Gains.

What happens to Bitcoin of the electrical grid goes down?

One of the biggest areas of vulnerability for any digital asset (computers, smartphones, online systems of any kind, etc.) is its dependence on a functioning electrical grid. Should something happen to bring down the infrastructure of a nation, or the entire globe (think natural disaster or effective EMP attack) then digital currency would be impossible to transfer and use. When I asked Trace Mayer about this possibility he had a very interesting answer that I think will get your wheels spinning. You can hear what he has to say about it on this episode.

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:08] My introduction of Trace Mayer and the issue of Bitcoin as an investment.
  • [2:22] What is it and how is it used?
  • [4:22] What is it that gives it value?
  • [8:20] How Bitcoin value can be proved instantly by digital means.
  • [10:44] The limited supply of Bitcoins: How do we know it’s true?
  • [13:44] Can Bitcoin be gamed or compromised technologically?
  • [16:46] The risks to Bitcoin.
  • [18:34] Competitors to Bitcoin and why they don’t threaten Bitcoin’s value.
  • [21:00] The incredible advantages that being first gives.
  • [25:15] Could the government make Bitcoin difficult to use?
  • [27:53] Trace’s book and the premise of it.
  • [32:38] How could you get involved in the Bitcoin market?
  • [38:00] Trace’s beginning experience with Bitcoin.
  • [42:13] The risk of losing your investment should the electrical grid go down.

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