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Hey there listeners. It's Brett Molina, welcome back to Talking Tech. So you've likely heard about Bitcoin. You've likely heard about cryptocurrency. You've likely heard about NFTs. I'm sure though, as you've heard these words, there are some of you out there that still are completely confused by this whole world and what all this means, and how it works, trading in Bitcoin, and exchanging it to real money, and there's a zillion questions about it. Thankfully, my colleague, Kim Komando wrote a column about this. You can read her column on tech.usatoday.com. It's called 10 Cryptocurrency Terms People Use Every Day. We'll share a couple here.
It's a very volatile world, obviously, as Kim explains. It also can be really confusing, and especially if you're someone that's looking to invest in cryptocurrency or invest in Bitcoin. It's important to know the most common language and words that are used there, just to get a better sense of what you're getting yourself into, especially as you start to invest in stuff like Bitcoin. So we're going to talk over a couple of the terms here. We won't get too deep into it. You can read the rest of the terms that Kim suggests in her column.
Let's start with blockchain. So a blockchain is essentially a virtual ledger. Anytime someone buys or sells using a cryptocurrency like a Bitcoin, an entry is made on this virtual ledger. Kim describes it as like a series of box cars on a train. So anytime there is a transaction made, another box car gets added to the train.
One of the benefits of the blockchain is that it's decentralized. There's no one central group or organization that stores and controls this information. It's spread out on computers all over the world, that are accessible on the internet.
So because of that, a lot of experts I've talked to for previous stories have discussed how it can be a lot more secure because there are so many different... this network is so big and there's so many other different computers involved that it's tougher for someone to go in and make changes, and say, hack into this blockchain, and change things so that Bitcoin is transferred over somewhere where it shouldn't be.
The next term that she brings up is Fiat. And as she mentions, no, it's not the car. Fiat money is government-issued currency. So you might hear that a lot when people are talking about cryptocurrency, and they'll talk about Fiat currency. So Fiat currency is basically the money we use every day. So in the US, dollars, coins, all that stuff, that is Fiat currency.
Let's do one more term that she talks about, and this is one that you've probably heard quite a bit. It's one we've talked about here. It's NFT, it stands for non-fungible token. It is essentially a digital certificate that basically authenticates a digital item that you've purchased online. It can apply to anything. It can apply to online artwork. You've probably heard this a lot with a lot of artists who are using NFTs to create digital art, and they sell their art using these non-fungible tokens to authenticate their piece as they sell it.
But it applies beyond that. It goes for songs, it goes for viral videos. It goes for articles. It goes for even gifts. It's collectible, that's really the biggest appeal with the NFT. Kim points this out. It's like you collect baseball cards, you collect comic books, you collect vintage cars. It's kind of the same thing, but it's all digital. And you use cryptocurrency to buy NFTs, that's the main platform for acquiring them.
What makes it interesting, and I think for some people confusing is that there's no tangible piece that you're holding in your hands, and I think that's why a lot of people, rightfully so, are hesitant to invest in NFTs because there is no physical property.
With baseball cards, you have a physical card. With a vintage car, you have an actual car maybe sitting in a garage or driveway, or on the street, or wherever. With NFTs, it's all digital. So it's there for you sitting somewhere, but you own it and you have this NFT that proves it.
So those are a couple of the terms that Kim lays out. Again, she has 10 of these, so you can read more about cryptocurrency and a lot of the terms that are popular among cryptocurrency on tech.usatoday.com.
Listeners, let's hear from you. Do you have any comments, questions, or show ideas? Any tech problems you want us to try to address? You can find me on Twitter @BrettMolina23. Please. Don't forget to subscribe and rate us, or leave a review on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, anywhere you get your podcasts.
You've been listening to Talking Tech. We'll be back tomorrow with another quick hit from the world of tech.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: