Cryptocurrency is taking the world by storm. While Bitcoin was one of the first and best-known cryptocurrencies, in recent years the number and types of cryptocurrencies have grown dramatically.
Melbourne has become a hot spot for crypto startups and interest is growing on how companies can use cryptocurrencies to provide transparent, secure, transactions. With any financial transactions, however, there’s a need to understand how to keep information secure and safe, using a proven Melbourne IT company with the tools to ensure funds, accounts, and customers are protected.
What Is Cryptocurrency?
Cryptocurrency is a virtual, digital currency that uses cryptography to keep transactions secure. It is not issued by a central banking authority or managed by any government agency. Instead, it operates in a decentralized structure across networks of hundreds or thousands of computers.
Cryptocurrencies are traded online by two parties directly, not using a third party like a bank or PayPal to complete the transaction. The transactions and users are pseudonymous, meaning you do not need to provide any personal information to complete a transaction. There are no guidelines about who can own cryptocurrency.
What Is Blockchain?
Cryptocurrencies use distributed ledger technology which eliminates third parties from the transaction. These ledgers are actually shared databases where transaction data is recorded. The most popular of these technologies is called blockchain, where every transaction related to a cryptocurrency is added. A block of information is added to the chain and stored in nodes — networks of computers — that verify the information being stored there is correct.
Special nodes are called miners that make transactions happen. Miners encrypt information from many different transactions to create the block. Other nodes verify the information being included is correct. Mining nodes are also rewarded for the computing power it takes to create blocks by receiving small amounts of the cryptocurrency.
How Are Cryptocurrencies Used?
Accessing cryptocurrency depends on the use of public and private keys. A person’s cryptocurrency uses private and public keys. The public key can be seen by seen by anyone and are shared with someone when you want them to share cryptocurrency with you. Private keys are like passwords, used to access your crypto account. These keys are kept in wallets, where your balances and keys are stored. If you have the private and public keys, you have access to the currency inside the wallet.
Today, more and more businesses are using cryptocurrencies for transactions and to trade for goods and services. Cryptocurrencies are also traded on exchanges where they can be transferred to other, more traditional currencies.
Melbourne and Cybercurrency
Melbourne has become a hub of cyber currency. Queensland has provided a sizable grant to an app company, TravelbyBit, that the government hopes will boost tourism to the area. The app allows for visitors to use digital currency at more than 200 merchants across Australia, with more than 120 of them in Queensland as of August 2018.
Melbourne Airport accepts cryptocurrencies at more than 50 dining spots and retail shops in its terminals. The benefits for tourists are considerable — there’s no need to carry as much cash, less risk of credit card fraud, and no loss of money in converting currencies or having too much of a local currency left over at the end of the trip. For merchants, fraudulent credit card transactions also are no longer an issue and there are no point-of-sale or merchant fees to incur.
Keeping Cryptocurrencies Safe
The keys and encryption are powerful tools that keep cryptocurrency safe. For businesses and individuals looking to ensure data remains safe and is not subject to cyber attack, various protections are warranted. As one of the leading Melbourne technology providers, Steadfast Solutions offers a number of services to keep data secure. From comprehensive risk assessments to IT security tools, Steadfast Solutions can ensure your systems are protected.
Blockchain itself is another powerful tool. Blockchain technology is difficult to hack into and is being used by companies to ensure customer data and transactions remain protected. At Steadfast Solutions, we help companies encode information using blockchain on transactions, property, and other valuable items to keep data secure and accessible by key parties … and only key parties.
Cryptocurrencies will continue to be an innovative and creative way to keep transactions secure and safe, as long as the right protections are in place. To learn more about how Steadfast Solutions can help with your IT security needs, contact us.