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USE CASE: The Future Of Cryptocurrencies Relies On Retail (
Bitcoin and blockchain have been all over the news recently. From being the currency of choice for HBO hackers to making headlines as a get-rich scheme, it seems they are ubiquitous in today's business and tech discussions.

But how can you invest in it? What is it? Is it stable? Will it last?

What Is Bitcoin And How Do I Get Some?

Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency with no banks or other intermediaries necessary to conduct transactions. It was designed as 
open-source software in 2009 by an individual or group known simply as Satoshi Nakamoto with the intention to minimize transaction costs and deregulate currency from government control.

The most popular way to buy Bitcoins is through Bitcoin wallets such as 
Coinbase. However, one doesn’t need a bank account to buy Bitcoin. It is important to note that Bitcoins aren’t printed like dollars or Yen; they are produced by dozens of computers worldwide, using software that solves mathematical problems. The safety and security of this currency reside with a technology called blockchain.

Well Then, What Is Blockchain?

Despite what others might think, blockchain is not a currency in and of itself; it is a technology that is a form of a decentralized database. Using this technology, you can read and write records of digital transactions -- monetary or otherwise.

Rather than having a central administrator like a bank, broker or government, a decentralized database has a network of replicated ledgers that replicate nearly instantaneously online and are available to anyone with access to the network. Like most other types of networks, they can either be private or public.

Most importantly, their record is permanent. Since there isn’t a central record for a hacker to corrupt, hacking methodologies that commonly impact large centralized databases (like a bank would use) would not be able to influence records kept with blockchain. Instead, a hacker would need to identify and hack hundreds, if not thousands, of computers at the exact same time.

Even being able to ID all of the computers is essentially impossible. Blockchain’s decentralized, open, cryptographic nature allows people to trust each other and transact peer to peer. This is significant because it makes the need for intermediaries obsolete since the records are put in time stamp blocks that can't be rewritten.

The security of this technology is unprecedented. Other possible uses (registration required) outside of cryptocurrencies include house deeds, insurance documents and academic transcripts.

Are Blockchain Cryptocurrencies Stable?

First off, what makes a currency stable?

Traditional economic thought 
asserts that a currency needs five things to be stable:

1) It should be a global reserve currency,

2) its liquidity should be high,

3) it should have a strong demand,

4) its country (issuer) should have a strong economy and

5) it should be linked to gold.

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