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Cyber Talk Radio: Cryptocurrency and Blockchain - What You Need to Know

Bret Piatt, CTR Host and Alex Eaton, BRD Community Architect and San Antonio Crypto Network Founder - Episode 97

What’s the latest on Cyber Talk Radio?

This past Saturday, August 4, episode 97 of Cyber Talk Radio hit the air on 1200 WOAI and iHeartRadio streaming. I was joined by Alex Eaton, BRD Community Architect and San Antonio Crypto Network Founder, to discuss what you need to know about cryptocurrency, blockchain and more.

How did you go from being in the army to becoming a cryptocurrency professional? Alex kicks of the segment telling us his story of how he became interested in cryptocurrency. As you begin to dig in to cryptocurrency, you find that there is a lot of terminology to keep up with and learn! For example, what’s the difference between blockchain and cryptocurrency? Alex gives us a quick beginner’s course on the the common vocabulary used within the cryptocurrency industry. (see quick guide below) There are over 1,700 different cryptocurrencies some public and some private. This is a big, fast-growing industry, which mean there are a lot of scammers. You should always practice diligent data privacy practices when you are managing your digital currency. To help educate more people, Alex started the San Antonio Crypto Network Facebook group to help provide an unbiased trusted education resource for people to learn more about cryptocurrency, how to manage, tips and security best practices. If you are looking to purchase or sell digital currency, Alex recommends coinbase.com as its one of the most popular places to purchase and sell.

Cryptocurrency Vocabulary Lesson:*

  • Blockchain is a growing list of records, called blocks, which are linked using cryptography. Blockchains which are readable by the public are widely used by cryptocurrencies.
  • Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency, a form of electronic cash. It is a decentralized digital currency without a central bank or single administrator. Bitcoins can be sent from user to user on the peer-to-peer bitcoin network directly, without the need for intermediaries. Transactions are verified by network nodes through cryptography and recorded in a public distributed ledger called a blockchain.
  • Lightcoin is a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency and open source software project released under the MIT/X11 license. Creation and transfer of coins is based on an open source cryptographic protocol and is not managed by any central authority. Application-Specific Integrated Circuit (ASICS) is an integrated circuit (IC) customized for a particular use, rather than intended for general-purpose use. For example, a high-efficiency Bitcoin miner is an ASIC.
  • ICO, Initial Coin Offering, a type of crowdfunding using cryptocurrencies, is a means of raising capital. Fewer than half of all ICOs survive four months after the offering.
  • DAO, Decentralized Autonomous Organization, is an organization that is run through rules encoded as computer programs called smart contracts.
  • Smart Contract is mostly used more specifically in the sense of general purpose computation that takes place on a blockchain or distributed ledger. In this interpretation, used for example by the Ethereum Foundation or IBM, a smart contract is not necessarily related to the classical concept of a contract, but can be any kind of computer program.
  • Wallet stores the public and private keys which can be used to receive or spend the cryptocurrency. A wallet can contain multiple public and private key pairs. There are many different types of wallets such as hot, cold, hardware, custodial and non-custodial.

In the second half of the show, we talk through some of the economics of cryptocurrency as well as price, market cap, ranking, and all of the info you would like to know about a specific currency. What are three things to look for when researching cryptocurrencies to invest in? Alex shares his top tips and what to look out for when choosing.

  • Team: Make sure they aren’t scammers, get to know more about the team.
  • Utility: What does it do?
  • Legal: Everything is audited and make sure the company is following the proper legal guidelines.

Alex walks us through some of the well-known cryptocurrencies and platforms such as Ripple, Ethereum, Ether, Bitcoin and Lightcoin. There are 500 cryptocurrencies that are built on Ethereum’s blockchain alone! This stat just shows that there are a lot of choices in the industry so do your research. With digital currency, how do you store it? It is important to backup your wallet and safely store your private key. Don’t store it on your phone in your photos! That is not a safe method of storing your private keys. If you are interested in getting more knowledgeable and would you like to become a certified professional in cryptocurrency, the Cryptocurreny Certification Consortium (C4) is the place to go to get your certification. A few word of advice from Alex as we close out the episode, don’t trust always verify! To listen to the episode replay to learn more cryptocurrency and blockchain, go here or watch below.**

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*All definitions are from Wikipedia.

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