If you don’t know your Targaryen from your ethereum, don’t worry, rather like Game of Thrones, cryptocurrencies are something of a generational thing.
For those over 30, bitcoin, ethereum and the host of other electronic currencies that have sprung up over the past few months can seem like something from a fantasy world.
And just as with someone who is now enthralled by the start of Game of Thrones series 7, ask what’s going on and you will get a roll of the eyes and the comment: “It’s too difficult to explain, why don’t start you at the beginning.”
For the HBO series, a box set will do this job nicely.
Alas for cryptocurrencies it is not so easy.
But with their value now said to be a combined US$60bn, it is reaching the point where investors, if not actively engaged, may need at least a working knowledge especially as just like a GoT episode, a crucial plot twist is fast approaching.
Bitcoin, the largest and best-known of the cryptocurrencies, is based on technology known as Blockchain, which at its most simplified is an electronic ledger of transactions.
It’s appeal is that it is said to be incorruptible, it’s downside is that it can’t keep up with the growth in demand.
Hence changes are potentially afoot to the way the Blockchain is made up to free up capacity, with potentially big price implications for those who have invested in Bitcoin and its newer rivals.
A solution is expected by the start of August and already there have been huge swings in the prices of cryptos.
Bitcoin has slumped 20% since June, having previously more than doubled to US$3,000 since the start of the year. Ethereum, a relative newcomer that is said to more user friendly, has been even more volatile.
Few are willing to predict the outcome and absence of any of the large banks, tech companies and consumer giants committing to the new technology, publically anyway, underlines the huge uncertainty.
Those in the know suggest eventually this will become a tech story, not a currency one, but one thing that is is certain is that like Westeros there will a lot of blood on the carpet before then.Join our Crypto, Blockchain and Cannabis Telegram group here