Nobody really needs to learn blockchain.

You just need to use it.

By Emily Rose Dallara

What is blockchain?

Most blogs and articles are written by the people and companies who built a type of technology called ‘blockchain’. They want you to understand all the ins and outs, the way it works, why it works and what you should do with it.

There are plenty of well-written articles like that. We don’t need to add another one.

So, for everyone who really doesn’t get tech — blockchain is something that works in the background to make transactions happen in cryptocurrency. You will hear the term ‘decentralized’ thrown around, which means that no one organization can alter the data embedded in the blockchain.

By the way, if you still don’t quite get cryptocurrency — it’s just another name for another type of ‘currency’ that’s not part of a country, region or institution. It’s an alternative method of payment that isn’t controlled by a third party, you have full control of the money. You control the passwords and sending and receiving money requires no personal information. It’s really handy.

You can pay for loads of things, and you don’t need a bank account in most cases. Crypto is helping countries like Venezuela survive hyperinflation and it removes transactional barriers country-to-country. It’s also not affected by the state of the banking system. No ring fencing needed here. A quick low down on cryptocurrency and the banks can be found in our previous article.

So, the blockchain…

The ‘blockchain’ isn’t a tangible thing. It’s basically a list of transactions, addresses, numbers, and letters. Think of it like a foundation for people to add to and make useable, but sometimes it’s just used for fun stuff.

When crypto-fanatics who talk about; ‘the tech’, DApps, nodes, and forks–and you’re not into technology in the slightest, you’ll glaze over pretty fast–and that’s ok, we can’t all be that way inclined.

But just so you know, the people who build on the blockchain develop some really incredible things–like; Honest Cash, BITBOX and the new Peaceful Warrior online payment system Atomic Pay.

How can you use blockchain every day?

The most obvious apps that anyone can get a hang of, that also happen to be part of ‘the blockchain’ are wallets. Wallets, like regular wallets, are used to store your cryptocurrency. (A bit like Revolut, Paypal wallets and the app you use to check your online banking.)

You can use these wallets ‘in real life’, not just online. That bar you go to for post-work drinks every Friday; you could even use a wallet to pay for drinks there.

The bar just needs a wallet or a super simple crypto point of sale system (Bitpay has a great one). To pay for your drinks, just send them money from your wallet. Usually, this requires scanning a QR code on their phone and swiping ‘send’. They receive the money almost instantly and it costs a fraction of a cent. No need for pin codes, cash and in some cases even wifi isn’t needed.

You are using blockchain technology is you use a crypto debit card. Bitpay has one for US customers and if you’re in Europe, Bitnovo has a really simple Mastercard backed one that currently supports seven cryptocurrencies. Alongside this card ( much like Revolut ) you have an app that allows the user to top up their card and find places to use it in the surrounding location. These cards are great if you want to spend crypto but a merchant doesn’t have a wallet or POS system themselves. Of course, there is no one stopping you from helping them to set up their own wallet, and then sending them some cryptocurrency to get them started!

What if you don’t have any crypto?

So forget the blockchain, you just want some crypto to buy stuff with.

Here are your options for getting started that won’t drive you up the wall or require too much tech knowledge.

  1. Visit free.bitcoin.com. In return for downloading a wallet, they will send you some free Bitcoin Cash. Free money yay!
  2. Find a friend who has cryptocurrency send them some money and get them to immediately send you the same amount, but in your chosen crypto.
  3. Use an exchange–we’re working on a super simple guide to get you through setting up an account. But if you’re eager to get your hands on some crypto–Coinbase does a pretty good job and is very beginner friendly.

Really, ‘Blockchain technology’ is a buzzword, crypto is just another type of ‘money’ that’s broken down into different ‘coins’.Think of Bitcoin Cash or Dash as like the USD, ETH like the Euro and Bitcoin as Gold– you wouldn’t try to spend it in a store because it’s way too much effort and pricey. You store it to see if you can make future gains or as keep as a stable asset.

You can spend cryptocurrency on our website, no tech knowledge needed and it’s a step by step process.

No messing. That’s how we like it, straight up and simple. Just like our crypto.

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