Over the years, I have admittedly been very negative toward cryptocurrency and blockchain. I had lots of good reasons to avoid them and concerns about them. In some ways, I still do. But our audience has asked us to address this growing field and provide clear biblical guidance on what to think about the Cryptocurrency world. This article is our attempt to dive into the content and make sense of it for you. You may find that you agree with us on every point, or you may become so frustrated with me because of how we disagree. My prayer is that you listen and interact with us. Our knowledge is still limited. This is a vast field that, I feel, many christians have not done a good enough job seeking to understand before just dismissing it as a fad or bubble or some form of sinful gambling.
Disclaimer: Nothing in the episode should be considered advice for or against the purchase or sale of cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrency is unregulated and highly volatile, and therefore should be considered high risk. This content is for educational purposes only. Please consult a financial and/or tax professional before making any moves. The thoughts and ideas shared in the episode are that of the hosts and may not be shared by Geneos Wealth Management Inc.
What is a Cryptocurrency?
- A cryptocurrency is a digital or virtual currency used over the internet (Investopedia). There are no material/physical paper or coin currencies.
- This currency is secured by cryptography, a complex, distributed peer-to-peer network of computers all across the globe all hosting matching copies of all transactions. This makes it nearly impossible to counterfeit or double-spend a coin. It also insulates the currency from manipulation or government interference. This is both an advantage and a liability as we will discuss later.
- Rather than having a central authority, like a bank, cryptocurrencies use a decentralized system (or network) to facilitate transfers and ownership of shares (coins). In order to maintain integrity of transactions, these systems use blockchain technology—a distributed ledger enforced by a disparate network of computers.
- Since cryptocurrencies do not have a central bank authority, they are theoretically insulated from government interference or manipulation.
- The first cryptocurrency was Bitcoin, which launched in 2008. It is by far the biggest, most influential, and best-known (Coinbase).
- Crypto makes it possible to transfer value online without the need for a middleman like a bank or payment processor, allowing value to transfer globally, near-instantly, 24/7, for low fees.
What are the major cryptocurrency options?
- Bitcoin $747B
- Ethereum $313B
- Tether $80B
- BNB $61B
- USD Coin $52B
- See more in the chart from Coinbase below:
Is Cryptocurrency Safe?
It is important to note that there is no bank or government backing it up (as opposed to fiat currency [i.e. USD]). While the integrity of the cryptocurrency system is not derived from a bank or government, its transactions are secure because all transactions are vetted by a technology called a “blockchain.” A cryptocurrency blockchain is similar to a bank’s balance sheet or ledger.
What is Blockchain? How does it work?
- As it relates to cryptocurrencies, blockchain technology is a free open source software program that provides for decentralized, secured, and transparent record of transactions which can’t be manipulated or changed by any one person or government.
- Decentralized – There is no one computer with all the data. Rather, the data in the blockchain is stored on thousands and thousands of different computers all around the globe.
- Secured – Each terminal (computer) as a copy of part of the chain. If it is manipulated from the rest of that copy, it is rejected as a fraud. Think about the Bible translation process. Even though we no longer have original copies of the letters/books, we still have 100% certainty of what was written. We have so many copies which all agree with one another. When a copy is found that is out of sync with all the other copies, the difference is noted and then disregarded as authoritative. Blockchain works much in the same way.
- Transparent – every transaction that has ever taken place is stored for all to see. While the sender and recipient is anonymized, the dollars and a unique ID is stored protecting the integrity of the ledger.
Which Cryptocurrencies are “the best?”
- Not all cryptos are created equally, Some are/were complete scams.
- Bitcoin is the largest of the cryptos and in my view, the crypto that is the most likely to outlast the others. Use of other major, or mainstream cryptos may work out but are unlikely ever to overtake Bitcoin in its position of dominance.
A Christian Perspective on Cryptocurrency
Generally, there are two camps in the Christian world, those for and those against cryptos. The majority opinion is against Christian involvement.
Christian articles against Cryptocurrency:
Christian articles for Cryptocurrency:
If you are planning on using Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency, it would be wise to consult a seasoned Financial Advisor that can help you figure out if it is the right decision for you. Remember, Scripture encourages us to build wealth in a steady, sustainable way. It is important to have a proper understanding of what you are getting involved in, and how it can impact your portfolio over time. At the end of the day, use wisdom, not emotion, to drive your investment decisions.
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