The Pros and Cons of Cryptocurrency

The Pros and Cons of Cryptocurrency

Akinpelu Babatola
Guest Writer

This is the age of digital currency. Thanks to recent technology trends, the world of finance has been changed distinctively. Thanks to this, many questions have been raised concerning the future of all transactions.

But there is one central question; Is cryptocurrency better than the current paper money system?

This is not a question quickly answered. While cryptocurrency is excellent in many aspects, it is not without its flaws. Since the advantages and disadvantages of the current system are already known, it is much more appropriate that we discuss the pros and cons of the newer system.

So let’s get started. 

The Pros of Cryptocurrency  

  • All transactions are entirely transparent.

All digital currencies make use of blockchain technology. This is an open ledger system that records all transactions and makes it available for anyone to view at any point in time. So if you are the kind of person who favours transparent banking systems, trading in cryptocurrency is definitely for you. 

  • All transactions are instant.

By transacting in cryptocurrency, you can carry out your transactions at any point in time and relatively instantaneously. By making use of your mobile device, you can move vast sums of money around with the simple touch of a screen. This attribute makes cryptocurrency perfectly suitable for any of your online transactions as well as offline transactions. 

  • The costs of transactions are relatively low.

While banks and other online payment systems are known for attaching expensive fees to all transactions, the cost of transacting in cryptocurrency is relatively low. This is excellent for merchants who carry out several hundreds of transactions daily. By taking advantage of the low transaction costs, you can afford to make as many transactions as you need to. 

  • Cryptocurrency offers you privacy and freedom from external influences.

While this might seem like a con at first glance, it is definitely a pro. 

Cryptocurrency operates on a decentralized system. This saves it from being controlled by a government or a central body and makes it much less susceptible to inflation. Thanks to this, all users who transact in cryptocurrency are assured that there is no one monitoring their spending and incomes asides from them.

If anyone were to look, the only available information would be the transaction details contained in the open ledger. This only gives information about the transaction and not the person behind the transaction. 

Now let’s talk about the cons of cryptocurrency.

The cons of cryptocurrency

  • Cryptocurrency is volatile. 

Most digital coins have their values determined by the number of users. This makes the value of all digital currencies very volatile. They can be worth thousands one day, and they can drop to hundreds the next morning. This volatility means you can earn quite a lot or lose quite a lot.

This volatile nature is bound to change as more and more users take advantage of this innovation in the finance world. 

  • Funds lost cannot be traced.

In the unlikely case of a security breach, the untraceable nature becomes a disadvantage. Without any information on the recipient of the lost funds, it becomes impossible to process retrievals.

Also, criminals can exploit the decentralized nature to carry out their illegal activities. This makes it impossible for governments to monitor and trace them at all. This is a significant reason why some governments have banned cryptocurrency in their countries.


Introduction to Cryptocurrency

Introduction to Cryptocurrency

Akinpelu Babatola

Guest Writer

Bitcoin launched back in 2009 and with its launch, created an industry that is now worth billions of dollars. This launch also jump-started a wave of innovations in the world of cryptocurrency. Some people believe that soon it will become an integral part of our society and others think that this is only a passing phase.

So what is a cryptocurrency and do they have any benefits over traditional forms of currency? Well, here’s the Xpress Train’s beginner guide to cryptocurrency

What is cryptocurrency?

Cryptocurrency is a virtual means of exchange. They exist only in digital form and can only be transacted online. There are no physical forms of cryptocurrency at all.

A core aspect of cryptocurrency is that there is no centralized system of control for it. Its value and production are entirely dependent on those who use it. Cryptocurrency leverages on blockchain technology to better secure this feature.

With blockchain technology securing it, there is no outside interference from a government or institution regulating its use for transactions.

So if it exists entirely online, how do you get a hold of cryptocurrency? Well, there are a few ways to acquire cryptocurrency. You can choose to

  • Mine it.
  • Exchange goods or services for it
  • Purchase it using the assistance of a broker
  • Purchase it using US dollars or some other cryptocurrency you currently have.

History of cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency is not a recent idea. Its history can be traced back to as far back as 1989 when David Chaum, a pioneer in cryptocurrency, tried to innovate Digicash. Others, such as E-gold in 1996, bit gold in 1998 and B-money in 1998, attempted and failed to achieve the current success of cryptocurrency.

The digital currency finally succeeded in 2008 in the form of Bitcoin. This was the first decentralized virtual coin, and in 2009, it went public.

 Now, it is the most popular cryptocurrency in the world. Despite this, other cryptocurrencies followed in its footsteps and are currently acceptable for transactions in many countries. Among these are the likes of Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC) and Ripple (XRP).

Since Bitcoin is the most popular cryptocurrency, others are collectively referred to as altcoins.

The growth of the cryptocurrency world has been astounding, to say the least. In 2015, there were more than 500 kinds of cryptocurrency. Yet, only 10 of them exceeded $10 million in market capitalizations.

By September 2017, the total market cap of cryptocurrency had grown to over $60 billion. By December of the same year, this value had reached $600 billion.

The amount of coins present in the market continues to grow, and the market cap continues to exhibit rising and falling tendencies.

Benefit of Cryptocurrency

The most important benefit of bitcoin lies in the fact that it is decentralized. Since there is no governing body to regulate it, cryptocurrency is entirely free from outside manipulation.  

For regular currency, the government and the central banks are in control. They determine how much is supplied and raise and drop the value of the local currency to suit their goals. But for cryptocurrency, only the users can control the value making use of the recent technology trend of a peer-to-peer network.

While there is still a lot of work to be done before bitcoin can take over from traditional forms of money, it is evident that it is working towards just that. Maybe someday in the future, all our transactions will be carried out using cryptocurrency.


Why Fintech Startups have become indispensable

Why Fintech Startups have become indispensable

Akinpelu Babatola
Guest writer

It is quite apparent that Fintech startups are here to stay. Take a look at any business around you. You will come to realize that they make use of one Fintech company’s services or the other.

This shows the level of integration these startups have achieved in our society today.

By taking advantage of current technology trends like Artificial Intelligence, A.I., many more startups are flooding the market. This is simply a result of constant innovation in this sector. In fact, keeping track of these innovations requires proper education and diligent research.

Regardless of how many companies pop up, we can’t do away with them. Why? What makes Fintech startups so indispensable to us? What does the future look like for Fintech Companies?

Let’s talk about this.

Fintech startups are indispensable for two main reasons.

  1. They make doing business very easy.  

A central selling point of Fintech startups is the ease of using their services. You can perform all your transactions on your smartphone. So, you don’t have to join long queues at the bank or make a trip to the ATM to make payments.

Instead, you can be in your pyjamas, sipping on a cup of coffee in your home, all the while making large sum transactions. It’s just that convenient.  

  1. They can help you make better financial decisions.  

If you have been struggling to save money, maybe using a Fintech’s services would not be a bad idea. These companies make use of technology trends such as machine learning, to remove all guesswork related to your financial lifestyle.

With these tools, your spending habits, and other financial behaviour are revealed. This helps the software design a savings system that is perfectly matched to your lifestyle. All this is done automatically and runs in the background, while you go about living your life.

What does the future look like for Fintech? 

The future of Fintech companies is quite bright. Currently, these startups have been able to influence the way we go about our banking. Traditional banks have been forced to adapt to this new situation or risk being chased out of business.

Fintechs have influenced more than the way we bank. Now you can also make investments and trade stocks all from the comfort of your home and from your smartphone. This improves the level of financial inclusion by making banking and investment services available to those who would not otherwise have them.

If things continue as they are, it is easy to see that very soon, Fintech Startups will become the order of the day.

Disruptive Technology in Education

Disruptive Technology in Education

Akinpelu Babatola
Guest Writer

Modern innovations have changed the concept of education. The 21st century has distinguished itself by revolutionizing the entire learning process. This is possible thanks to disruptive technology. 

This article will discuss five disruptive technologies that have changed the learning process. Let’s begin. 

  1. Online Learning

Online learning is the most popular disruptive technology in education. It has broken down the four walls of the class. Now education can cross international borders. It has removed the limitation of distance when talking about education. 

Online learning also makes education to everyone. No matter how busy your day is, online learning gives you the chance to learn. 

This is all possible with an internet connection and a smartphone. It has put classrooms in our hands. 

  1. Chat Platforms

Some might argue that online learning removes student-teacher interactions. Chat platforms are technology’s answer to that. Student-teacher interactions remain possible, through texts or video chats. 

Video chats take things a step further. They make holding group study sessions a breeze. Students can get together without even being in the same room. This benefit extends to inviting field experts to speak to students. You can even hold seminars and conferences for students.

  1. Competency-based Education (CBE)

Competency-based Education has moved the education away from curriculum-based learning. Instead, it focuses on the different capabilities of each student. The goal is to further develop the skill of each student in preparation for the labor market.

The process identifies students’ weaknesses and measures how much time they need to improve. It is much better than the traditional method that forces everyone to learn at the same pace.

You can think of it as a much more efficient learning process. 

  1. Virtual Reality.

What if I told you, you could take a walk through a museum while sitting at your desk? Sounds nonsensical, doesn’t it? Well, that’s what virtual reality technology is capable of. 

While it is still mostly being used in the gaming and entertainment industries, the educational sector is not far behind. Students can now experience real-life situations without any of the risks. 

Think about it. Medical students can perform operations without the need for an actual patient. Art students can visit galleries and museums without all the leg work.

With virtual reality, the possibilities are endless. 

Augmented reality technology takes things a step further. It transforms two-dimensional models into three-dimensional models. This facilitates an easier understanding of concepts that are hard to get while on the pages of a book. 

  1. Artificial Intelligence

You might think this is something straight out of a sci-fi movie, but it’s not. Artificial intelligence is already almost everywhere. If you don’t believe me, think of Siri and Alexa. 

Yes, that’s right, you are holding AI in your hands. And now they are being designed to improve the process of education. 

AI can provide a program that is a match for each individual student. They can work for entire classes too. AI makes personalized tutoring a reality, and also provide feedback for students. 

Technology continues to improve our lives. The way we learn is not left out of this improvement process. It continues to provide a more efficient and personalized education to everyone, everywhere.


Event Technologies in the Current Climate

Event Technologies in the Current Climate

There is a pandemic on our hands and all events have slowed to a crawl. Events planned must embrace the current events technologies. Failure to do so would only end in disaster.

What are event technologies? Which event technologies are best suited for the pandemic? And why are they so important?

Read on to find out.

Event Technologies

Digital technologies that help event planners organize events are event technologies. They can be tools that help you advertise events or organizational tools. If it helps push the agenda of an event, a digital tool is event technology.

What’s the big deal about events technology?

Events can be very exhausting. Before the development of event technology, everything was done by hand.

Imagine if you had to compile a list of attendees of an event, by hand. The more people that came for the event, the more tiring the task would be. Not only would it be tiring, but mistakes are bound to happen.

Event technologies make tasks like that easier. You improve efficiency and are able to track the effectiveness of the event as a whole.

So what are the current technology trends in the events planning world?

Current Events Technology

Venue Finders: As the name suggests, these digitals tools help you locate venues for your events. You are able to browse through a list of venues before picking the most suitable one. Some worthy mentions are EventUp Splacer and HeadBox

Registration Management Tools: These tools improve attendee conversions. They keep track of guests and can integrate with other event technologies. This boosts event performance.

Boomset and Bizzabo are two examples of such tools.

Streaming Tools: If you are looking to reach a wider audience, then these are the tools to use. They let you stream events in real-time to online audiences. You are also able to record events for guests that are not present at the time.

Most popular online streaming services like YouTube let you do this.

Way Finders: Rather than hiring ushers or putting up signs to show guests around, these do the job as well. Like the popular Google Maps, these tools show event attendees around, only indoors.

With them, you can take advantage of guest’s smartphones to send directions remotely. Way finders use indoor position systems (IPS). Facilitated by Bluetooth and Wi-Fi technology, they are compatible with almost any smartphone.

Way Finders keep traffic low, ensuring events aren’t overcrowded with support staff.

Event Promotion and Marketing Tools: Driving guests is just as important at planning an event. Using an event promotion tool will do this for you. Not only do these tools take advantage of email marketing, they can also leverage on social media platforms.

Examples of these are MailChimp, Campaign Monitor, and Bizzabo.

Social Media: Social media has become an integral part of our lives. They are useful in many ways and one way is keeping track of event performance. You can keep track of hashtag performance, mentions, and comments on social media. Making adjustments will become much easier.

Social media platforms also give your events an online audience. It will also help you keep an eye on competitors.

There are many more event technologies, but these few are a good way for any event planner to get started. Using these modern innovations is a great way to improve an event planning business.


IoT and the Future of Education

IoT and the Future of Education

By Akinpelu Babatola
Guest Writer

As more and more devices all over the world join the ever-expanding internet of things, it is expected that the Internet of Things will become the internet of everything. This massive growth is bound to affect the lives of the entire online population in more ways than one. The change is already visible in the global health sector and the world of business. Another sector that is bound to be affected is the education sector.

The world of education is still limited in several ways but it is apparent that it is fast becoming a part of the online world. This change is being pushed by the current COVID 19 pandemic that is sweeping the globe. Online classes have more or less become a necessity as schools remain closed at this time.

Several changes have been incorporated in education thanks to the internet of things in response to the pandemic and it is very likely that these changes will not be temporary and rather than disappear, they will become the norm. What changes can you expect to see in the education sector in the coming years?

Easier student engagement: Connecting with students has always been an integral part of the learning process. With the assistance of IoT, it becomes much easier for educators to connect with students. There will no longer be a mandatory need for face-to-face meetings rather, classes and discussions can be held on almost any device and with as much convenience to both parties as possible. Educators will even be able to prepare course outlines that are specific to each student.

Increased educator efficiency: Educators all over the world have one problem in common; Time management. From designing curriculums to grading papers and assigning assignments, it becomes a nearly impossible task to efficiently and effectively carry out their duties while still maintaining a life outside of their job. With IoT’s influence, these tasks will not only become much easier, but they will be more efficient. Sharing information with fellow educators will be faster, moving through course contents will be a breeze, and assessing and providing learning materials to all students will all be done at the click of a button and possibly from the comfort of the home.

Better On-campus Safety: As the IoT grows, data collection becomes much easier. It will be easy to locate staff and students on campus and will help ensure that there is an eye on the activities of everyone. Cashless payments will become the order of the day and robbery counts will drop drastically.

These are just a few of the possible changes that will come to the education sector as the Internet of things continues to grow. There will be a few obstacles to these changes of course, such as financing issues and a potential loss of privacy, but in the foreseeable future, the education sector and perhaps all other sectors will become one big online village.