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Moore about Business: Cryptocurrency

Bitcoin
Eric Gay/AP
/
AP
In this Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014 photo, Jon Rumion, background left, talks with Michael Cargill at Central Texas Gun Works, in Austin, Texas. Rumion purchased two guns at the store using bitcoin. As states debate the merits of bitcoin, Texas is emerging as a vital testing ground for the digital currency. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

So, is cryptocurrency important to the future of your business? I recently heard two experts on the subject: Jessica Washington, Vice President, the Federal Reserve and Kelly Werder, FGCU. Here are my 3 biggest takeaways.

Takeaway number one: Blockchain is a technology. The first blockchain was Automated Clearing House, or ACH. Blockchain is not just for the movement of money, it can also be utilized for the movement of information. Cryptocurrency can base their rules on blockchain.

Takeaway number two: 13,000 forms of cryptocurrency currently exist in the marketplace—not just bitcoin. The purpose behind bitcoin’s creation in 2009 was to provide a peer-to-peer currency that removes the intermediary—like banking institutions—while also providing anonymity.

So it can offer a currency option for certain types of real estate and business transactions.

Takeaway number 3: Cryptocurrency will never replace our present legacy currency systems--cash and ACH. Currently, paper checks and everything electronic are converted to ACH. Cash is cash—with no intermediary. Cash is still the best thing to have on hand, especially in extreme instances like natural disasters because it’s a system that never goes down. So don’t be concerned that cash will ever become obsolete.

While there is concern about the potential for terrorist use and abuse of the system, that can be said about any currency system. The speakers advised considering adding bitcoin as a payment option for your business’ transactions, because generations now growing up will use bitcoin as part of their currency choices.

Karen Moore is a contributing partner for WGCU and the publisher of SWFL Business Today.