What Are Bitcoins?

 

Bitcoin pic
Bitcoin
Image: investopedia.com

Certified Financial Planner Robert M. Ryerson has published and spoken extensively on financial topics. One innovation which Robert M. Ryerson has taken an interest in is cryptocurrency, a form of digitally-based currency backed by computing power.

Bitcoin, the first and most popular cryptocurrency, uses a shared public ledger called a blockchain to store all confirmed transactions. Bitcoin wallets use the blockchain to calculate their spendable balances, making sure all transactions are legitimate and individuals cannot fraudulently increase their balances. When users transfer Bitcoins between one another, they use a private key and signature to maintain the integrity of the transaction, and transactions are confirmed through a process called mining, in which computers on the network perform computations.

While secure, this transaction process has a significant energy footprint. Each transaction conducted through Bitcoin averages out to approximately 215 kilowatt-hours of power usage, about one quarter of what a typical American household uses monthly. Due to the high level of distrust built into the system and the numerous times each transaction is computationally verified, it also requires a large amount of computing power.

Published by Robert Ryerson

A financial professional with more than three decades of experience, Robert Ryerson works closely with clients in the Freehold, New Jersey, area to meet their financial planning needs. As a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) at New Century Planning, he focuses on retirement income planning, as well as estate administration, regularly assisting his clients with legacy and estate planning. He also advises them on health and disability insurance, including Medicare, Medicaid, and Medicare Supplement Plans. Mr. Ryerson’s many years helping his clients navigate the complexities of retirement planning gave him a deeper understanding of the healthcare costs that retirees face. In 2013, he drew upon this knowledge to co-author the book What You Don’t Know About Retirement Will Hurt You. Outside of his work at New Century Planning, Robert M. Ryerson is a regular fixture at workshops and seminars on retirement. He has delivered several keynote speeches on the often-confusing topic of required minimum distributions. Mr. Ryerson continues to share his financial expertise as a facilitator of online courses for Certified Public Accountants through The Society for Financial Awareness. In the early 2010s, Mr. Ryerson became concerned about the threat of identity theft after noting the many cybersecurity breaches suffered by major companies. He became a Certified Identity Theft Risk Management Specialist (CITRMS) in 2014. He has since taught identity theft recovery courses at local community colleges. Mr. Ryerson also wrote a book on the topic entitled What’s the Deal with Identity Theft: A Plain English Look at Our Fastest Growing Crime. A graduate of Rutgers University with a degree in economics, Mr. Ryerson began his career in the financial services industry as a stockbroker. He obtained his CFP designation in 1991 and began working as an independent financial planner a few years later. In addition, he is a notary public.

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