Answers To Your Questions About Bitcoin

Answers To Your Questions About Bitcoin

Cryptocurrency doesn't have to be so cryptic.

Behold, the mysterious bitcoin. With the tech media raving endlessly about this digital currency, it would make sense to say that us common folk have a clear picture of its nature. However, having analyzed my own knowledge of cryptocurrency, and having consulted others about their comprehension, I realized that collectively, our bitcoin smarts were rudimentary at best. Thus, I decided to investigate the hidden realm of bitcoin, and eliminate the cloak veiling its identity.

For starters, what is cryptocurrency? If this term prompts your mind to imagine genius coders implementing complicated algorithms to protect sensitive data transfers, your thoughts are correct, and exactly defined as cryptographic protocols. Jacked on mathematical steroids and fed with complex engineering frameworks, it would take a James Bond-like hacker to even attempt to break these protocols.

Cryptocurrencies are controlled by a decentralized system, meaning that the value and supply of the currency is governed by user activity and protocols, not banks. Additionally, digital currencies are limited in stocks, which means that once supply runs out, its game over. Lastly, cryptocurrency both possesses perks and drawbacks. The former has to do with the fact that the political independence of cryptocurrency makes it nearly impossible for the government to freeze accounts of users–essentially free reign. However, cryptocurrency drawbacks also revolve around the shady transactions of the hacker underground, which has lead various countries to cast severe discontent upon the matter. Now that you know some background information on digital currency, it's time to dive into the world of bitcoin!

Bitcoin was born in 2009, and though its creator is said to be a man by the name of Satoshi Nakamoto, the author's true identity is still speculated over. As previously mentioned about cryptocurrency, bitcoin is governed by a decentralized system, and is politically independent. The currency has no physical attributes, as its anatomy is entirely composed of complex mathematical computations, and further, bitcoin doesn't exist as "bitcoin", but rather as a set of digital keys that are stored electronically and in the cloud.

In order to spend bitcoin, users need to buy it and exchange it via transaction platforms like Coinbase in San Francisco. All of these transactions are recorded on something called the blockchain, which the Guardian defines as a "digital ledger that provides a secure way of making and recording transactions, agreements and contracts." Usually, one can pay for bitcoin by traditional means such as with credit cards, but bitcoin ATMs have also appeared that enable users to exchange the cryptocurrency with cash as well.

As mentioned before, cryptocurrencies have a finite supply, and bitcoin's total stands at 21 million. Of that total, 15 million bitcoin are currently in circulation. Supporters of the digital currency claim this circulation rate makes bitcoin more stable than currencies supported by the government, as central banks that print money have the potential to depreciate currency values. According to The Sun Newspaper, one bitcoin is worth $12,990.00 to the US dollar as of Wednesday, December 21st.

Through this article, I hope I have enabled you to achieve a greater understanding of bitcoin and the general operation of cryptocurrencies, and hope to have successfully eliminated any confusion over the media-populated matter. Perhaps you will now have the courage to go out there in the digital world and explore the realm for yourself! And who knows, maybe you will become the next big face in cryptocurrency trading.

Cover Image Credit: Crypto Reporting

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Why Sims 4 Is Better Than Therapy

No mom, I'm not wasting my time. I'm planning my life.

If you've ever felt like you've lost control of your life, you can fix that problem for a low fee of $20, by investing in one of my favorite casual games: The Sims 4. Starting off as a simple simulation game, this platform has evolved into a place where people can create unique storylines and almost lead second lives. Because it allows players to control an entire town of people, regulating everything from emotions to hobbies to professions, most people find satisfaction in knowing that every single one of those pixelated humans' lives are in their hands.

When I started playing the Sims, I created a young adult with my likeness, and used my starter budget to buy a small plot of land where I built my first house from scratch- an accomplishment that sent my Sim into debt, ultimately killing her ability to find a partner, which left her living in the local park and eating hot dogs until she died from an overdose of soda. (See, unhealthy sugars CAN kill you).

My second try was more successful- I created an overweight man (it would take longer for him to die of starvation) who was a bit of a nerd, but still charismatic. Long story short, Benson Olson lived a long and peaceful life, ultimately succumbing to old age. From that moment on, I knew I how to maneuver the game properly- and the rewards were so satisfying.

I was able to decide fates, but the game forced me to stay organized. Fathering too many children or going to work too often was often a cause of stress for my Sims, so I learned how to balance their needs while still having fun. The level of patience it takes to play the Sims is crazy- relationships take time to build and sometimes they don't work out too well.

That's where cheats come in handy. The developers of the SIms 4 actually encourage users to use cheats, giving users the ability Sims millionaires in less than a minute, or to force relationships between NPCs, no matter how compatible they may be.

I've often found that naming Sims after people in my life, then making their lives hell has been another benefit of the game- you can totally mess with them by starting a fire in their house, or tipping over trashcans until you're banished. Some of my friends have even requested to become part of my households- in the form of pets, because they're too scared to be 'humans' in my unpredictable Sim worlds.

Overall, the Sims 4 may seem like a timewaster, but the way this game stretches the creative bubble is both beneficial and therapeutic.

Cover Image Credit: WIndows Central

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Apple Music Versus Spotify

Which music app reigns supreme?

I recently went through an internal struggle; wanting to stay loyal to apple music with the draw of Spotify including Hulu in their package slowly pulling me in. I had to go based off of my friends' recommendations of both music streaming apps, although they tended to be a bit biased. It was time I tested both for myself and finally settled on the best one. Both get the job done, but there are surely pros and cons for each.

Music Variety

When it comes to this category, Spotify reigns supreme. The app features a lot more remixes than Apple Music does, and I feel as though I’m exposed to tons of new music. Of course this category isn’t terribly important, as you could download any song from the internet and upload it to either app.


Every iPhone comes with iTunes, so why download another app for music when you’re trying to save space? This was one of the issues I had with Spotify in the first place, it required me to download the app on my phone as well as the program on my computer. My mac already comes with iTunes, but I guess this isn’t such a problem for Android and PC users.


Spotify definitely wins this round, a normal membership now comes with access to a basic Hulu account! If you’re a student, this means only $5 a month for both services! It’s basically a dream come true.


Random, but this is something that I have noticed as a difference between Spotify and Apple Music. Spotify’s shuffle is significantly less shuffled than Apple Music’s. I find that when I press shuffle on Spotify I constantly hear songs by the same artist a bunch of times in a row, while I never encounter this problem with Apple.


Apple Music is more organized than Spotify is. On Apple Music, I can choose to arrange my playlists, however, I like based on artist, date added, or even song title. I can do this on Spotify too, but only from my computer. On the app, my music is always organized by date added, which is not my first choice. It’s a small problem, but one I definitely took notice of.

Discover Weekly

One of the great things about Spotify is the personalized playlists it makes every week- and they’re pretty good! Apple Music doesn’t really have anything similar to this, which is a shame and a half.


Both of these apps have their own version of “radio” services, where you can create a radio station based off of a song, artist, or album. Spotify seems to always been spouting out new songs by the hundreds, even if you’re not sure how some of them made it on the radio playlist. Apple Music seems to play the same few songs on repeat, and keep them the same for everyone. So both apps have their downsides here, but Spotify definitely shows more diversity and gives more songs chances to shine.

My honest opinion: you can’t go wrong with either of these apps. Both have high-quality music with almost unlimited options that are easy to use. I personally use Spotify, but it was mostly because of the Hulu promotion (definitely worth it by the way). I’ve tried both, used both for a few months, and this is my consensus. No matter what you use, happy listening!

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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