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Categories: Special ReportTechnology

Chain Reaction

How cryptocurrencies are leading a revolution in business – and travel
By now most people have heard of Bitcoin – the mysterious electronic currency created by “Satoshi Nakamoto,” the nom de plume of the anonymous inventor, or inventors, of Bitcoin. The dollar value of the cryptocurrency has fluctuated wildly since its inception, as frenetic investors pouring money into “mining” operations like a modern-day gold rush.

In simple terms, it works like this: every ten minutes, a puzzle is formed that specially programmed mining computers race to solve. The winner receives a block of Bitcoin (at this writing one Bitcoin is valued at $6,395 – last year it was over $17,000) and the puzzle resets. Alternatively, Bitcoin can be purchased with fiat currency (legal tender that is backed by its government).

As perplexing as Bitcoin is, perhaps the more enduring contribution “Nakamoto” has made to the future is the larger concept that underlies all cryptocurrencies: the blockchain. Blockchain is a database that is immutable, secured by advanced cryptography (encryption and codes) and backed up with identical copies of information on a global network of computers.  So it can’t be tampered with or changed.

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