Bitcoin: The Future of Money

Everyone is talking about Bitcoin these days, and for good reason. For nearly a decade, it has been quietly revolutionizing money, and most experts think that it will continue to do so in the future. In this fascinating TED talk, Neha Narula talks about the blockchain and what it means for all of us.

 

Vocabulary

Let’s look at the video closely. At 06:36, Narula says:

Cryptocurrencies are the first step of this evolution. Cryptocurrencies are digital money that isn’t run by any government or bank. It’s money designed to work in a world without intermediaries. Bitcoin is the most ubiquitous cryptocurrency, but there are hundreds of them.There’s Ethereum, Litecoin, Stellar, Dogecoin, and those are just a few of the more popular ones. And these things are real money. The sushi restaurant down my street takes Bitcoin. I have an app on my phone that I can use to buy sashimi. But it’s not just for small transactions. In March, there was a transaction that moved around 100,000 bitcoins. That’s the equivalent of 40 million US dollars.

Let’s focus on some of this challenging vocabulary and try to figure out meaning from context.

So what does “cryptocurrency” mean? Well, she explains at the beginning: digital money. It isn’t governed by a government or bank.

What about intermediaries? Well, again from context we can understand that’s a government or bank – some party that controls or organizes.

Ubiquitous? If Bitcoin is the “most ubiquitous” but there are many others… it is clear then that this word means something like “common”.

Response

After watching the video, make a note of the advantages and disadvantage of Bitcoin (and other cryptocurrencies) and consider this question: Do you think this is the future of money? Put your thoughts in the comment section below. I’ll try to reply to all comments.

Author: David S. Wills

David S. Wills is the author of Scientologist! William S. Burroughs and the 'Weird Cult' and the founder/editor of Beatdom literary journal. He lives and works in rural China, and loves to travel. His other IELTS website is called IELTS Teaching.

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