Bitcoin – The New Age Revolution

Bitcoin is a word most of us have heard somewhere or the other. However, most of us have only a minuscule knowledge about it. Through this blog, I would like to throw some light on this latest revolution.

What is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is a crypto currency. Simply put, it is a digital form of money. It was designed by Satoshi Nakamoto. Interestingly, no one knows whether Satoshi Nakamoto is a real person or a group of programmers using this pseudonym.

How Bitcoin works?
Bitcoin is different from the app based wallets that we are used to, like Paytm and Freecharge. While these apps use actual currency for carrying out transactions, Bitcoin is the currency through which we can transact. Bitcoin itself is a store of value.
To understand this, we first need to know the history of our current system of currency.
Remember the olden days, when there was no money. People used barter system for carrying out transactions. But doing transactions in barter system was cumbersome. There arose a need to have a common denominator which could be used for the simple act of buying and selling. This lead to the invention of money. First it took the form of any and every item which was perceived as precious- shells, precious stones, metals, even animal dung in certain places.
With the advent of civilisations, there arose a need to have a standardised denominator which could be used for trade throughout the empire. First coins were minted. Coins prevailed during the dark ages. But as civilisations grew, demand for currency grew too.
Soon demand for coins-far outstriped its supply. There just wasn’t enough metal to keep up with the supply. The solution- Notes were conceived. And today, we have a mixture of coins and notes as the drivers of world economy.

Importance of Bitcoin

People have faith in their currency. But these coins and notes are not true money. They are merely representative money. If you have a 2000 rupees note, it doesn’t mean you have 2000 rupees. What you have rather, is a promise by the government of the day, that they will pay you 2000 rupees worth of true currency (in most cases Gold) whenever you demand it.
If you are able to understand this, you will surely understand what a bitcoin is. Bitcoin is in essence that Gold, figuratively. It holds value by itself. It does not derive its value from any source.
Also, it does away with major flaws of Gold as a store of value. It is infinitely divisible (8 decimal places normally, more with consensus of the network).
It is a decentralised currency. This is a very big statement. It means that no one has the right to create bitcoins. Our paper currency decisions are taken by bankers and governments, but in case of bitcoins, there is a fixed supply limited at 21 million. Moreover, these are not just there. These have to mined.
The mining process involves compiling recent transactions into blocks and trying to solve a computationally difficult puzzle. The first participant who solves the puzzle gets to place the next block on the block chain and claim the rewards. The rewards incentivize mining and include both the transaction fees (paid to the miner in the form of Bitcoin) as well as the newly released Bitcoin.

More about Blockchain

Investment source

What particularly caught my attention is the investment opportunity in Bitcoins. Past reports have shown a 30,000 times rise in the price of bitcoins since its inception. Infact, in the short term, its price has risen astronomically. Over the past one year, it has increased almost four fold from less than $500 to $2072 (21-05-2017).
Rather than only speculation, this increase is also based on one of the most fundamental law of Economics- the law of Demand and Supply.
There will only be 21 million bitcoins in existence at any point of time- neither one less, nor one more. And when demand is not met with supply, the prices are bound to increase.
Many well known analysts have bet that the price of one bitcoin can easily touch $100,000. Some opportunists claim the amount to be $500,000. As a CA student, it wouldn’t hurt me if I were to assume it to rise to just $3000, for that would roughly translate to a 33.33% profit.
Just FYI- @$100,000 – profit would be 4900%
and @$500,000 – profit would be a whopping 24,900%.

Cons
The universe prefers balance. The same applies to Bitcoins too. Till now, you just read about the bright side of bitcoins. You were only shown the rosy picture. But now prepare yourself for the anticlimax.
Most of the exchanges which allow trading of bitcoins charge a certain percent as fees. It can vary from 0.3% to as high as 10%.
Secondly, these exchanges are not always safe. Classic example of this is Mt.Gox- the $460 million disaster of bitcoins. The underlying blockchain which powers bitcoins transactions cannot be hacked but the exchanges can be hacked into.
Thirdly, many illegal activities and terrorist fundings are done through bitcoins. The Ransomware is most recent example of how hackers can use this technology and yet remain incognito.
Conclusion
Bitcoin is the technology of future. It has the potential to overthrow all the existing currencies of the world. Taransparency and decentralization are its forte. Just imagine a world where power to create money is not in the hands of a few select individuals but can be mined by anyone who has the required hardware and software.
Truly, a revolution has begun. Not the conventional revolution but one which has the potential to disrupt the power balance of the world without even firing a single bullet!

The Journey Within

We are all travellers in this journey of self discovery. Some realise it early in their life and take a sort of head start towards their their destination. However, with passage of adequate amount of time, each individual does rev up his engine and moves towards his calling.

There is nothing more to life than taking the first step- For what you dream and believe, is what you eventually achieve. You may not know what lies ahead but with just the right amount of faith, you will conquer it all. 

Imagine you want to travel from Mumbai to Delhi in your car. The road is challenging, has sharp turns and it is a moonless night. You don’t even know what lies 200 metres ahead because your headlight can only go that far. But that doesn’t prevent you from taking the trip, does it. 

You are travelling along with the faith that you can perceive any kind of danger from a distance of atleast 200 metres and act accordingly. And with this faith, you are able to cross the entire distance between the two places.

 Life is not a bit different. You may have grand plans for yourself. However, you fear to take the path towards fulfillment of that plan because you feel that you lack the proper way. There is no bigger lie that you can say to yourself than this.

Surrender yourself to the magnificence of the universe and set out on your path. The universe will conspire such that you reach your destination. Just remember to keep looking for the signboards on your path just as you would while travelling from Mumbai to Delhi.😉

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Secrets 

Though I prefer to stay away from crowds, but I think I love it at times to mingle in between scores of people that I don’t even know and whom I will probably never even see again. I do marvel at the beauty of solitude and peace, but at times I feel the need to pump up that adrenaline within me (#typical_teenager).

I believe that I am the most careful person I know within my family (yes, more careful than my dad too) and acquaintances. I have so much self control that I won’t ride a bike above 50kmph even on the expressway. But there are nights where I like to ride the same bike back home at the darkest hour, fast enough that everything seems to be a blur and I can never tell if that’s the speed I’m going or if it’s me.

Time and again, I maintain my control over me. I hold back my urges for so long that when I give in, by the end of the night I’m hysterically laughing in my helmet against the wind, feeling like nothing can hurt my sentient being.

I don’t know this for sure, but I think it’s the excitement, the excitement of having secrets, the excitement over the possibility of destroying myself.

Normally(more often than not), I’ll stay away from this but when I give in, it’s the best feeling in the world and a bit dangerous too. 

8760 Hours

Yes, that’s right. We only have 8760 hours per year. Pretty trivial indeed.

Let’s see what we can do with these 8760 hours. Firstly, let’s reduce 6 hours of sleep per day. This leaves us with only  6570 hours in a year. Removing margin- (being a CA student, prudence is must)- we are left with about 6500 hours. 

Now let’s reduce that time which we require to do our daily chores – breakfast,  brushing, etc. Assuming each day we spend 1 hour (plus some margin) on these things, we are left with about 6100 hours.

Now comes the time taken for eating, going out, leisure, etc.  Lets us consider it to be around 1500 hours. We are now left with only 4600 hours of productive time. Mind you, 4600 hours for our ownselves in one year. 

The main contention is how we spend these 4600 hours which will either make or break our lives. 

The problem with us is that we think we have a lot of time.

If used judiciously, these 4600 hours can take us to the pinnacle of success. But if wasted, these can also lead us into an abyss of failure​.

My only advice to myself as well as to other readers is this: 

Value time now and soon a day will come when the whole world values you.

Shakespeare once said, “Time is slow for those who wait. It is very fast for those who are scared. Very long for those who lament. Equally short for those who celebrate. But for those who love, time is eternal.”

Do great things- things which matter to you, while you still have time because time once gone, will never come back.

However, by extolling time, I didn’t mean worshipping the clock. Rather, it was for living in the moment, for the moment and by the moment.

Lastly, there is only one thing more precious than our time and that’s who/ what we spend it on. And I believe my readers are wise enough to spend it sagaciously. 

Adiós amigos !! 

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To stars and beyond

Have you ever looked at the night sky and marvelled at the magnificence of the universe ? Have you ever paid attention to the majesty of the towering mountains ? Have you ever noticed the calmness of the oceans ?

Most of us haven’t. I mean, who has time for all this right now ? We will do this someday – not today. Today we have greater things to do. We need to study for that upcoming exam. We need to complete that assignment. We need to pay those outstanding bills. 

Some of us who are a bit above the rest have slightly longer-term goals. Achieve that professional degree. Succeed in business. Build our dream home. Infact I can cook up all the things under the sun here, about what we want. 

We buy things we don’t need with money we don’t have to impress people we don’t like.

But I want to ask one simple thing- are these goals (as we call it) totally and completely necessary ? Can we not have a real purpose in life ? Are the worldly things all important in life ? Can we, just for one moment, stop acquiring and start living ? 

Life is a precious gift. A one time opportunity (more than once- based on your religious views). It is to be enjoyed and not endured. You will surely be crucified many times, but you have to resurrect yourself – like the pheonix. 

And though I may get all this philosophical, but I know that there are certain expectations that we all need to live up to. And I am also aware of the fact that to do so, we have to sacrifice our natural tendencies and adopt a more worldly view of life. 

I strongly believe that we can maintain a balance between our actual selves and the more superficial selves that we are expected to live and so willingly live. We can achieve those short term and long term goals and at the same time, we could be taking that road trip which would leave us entranced. We can learn how to play instruments. We can pursue a hobby. Who doesn’t like listening to good music while enjoying a long walk, in the company of none other than our own self. 

I have definitely raised the bar for myself. 

  • Chase the northern lights.
  • Stay among the mountains for atleast one month each year.
  • Travel and wander in unknown places (because they are not crowded)
  • Last but not the least (and my favourite), count stars on a moonless night in total solitude.

I don’t mean to disrespect anyone’s goals or ambitions. But I just want to tell this to all you people- Lead such a life that your epitah reads “No Regrets”. In your final moments, you should not have any IF ONLYs or WHY DIDN’Ts. 

Life is a beautiful journey which must always be lived forwards but can only be understood backwards.

Make yourself proud!! 

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An Ode to Mom

​Happy Birthday MoM 😍😘😍😘😍😘😍
Never Enough
Sometimes We know the words to say to give thanks for all you’ve done,

 but then they fly up and away as quickly as they come.

How could We possibly thank you enough, the one who makes us whole,

 the one to whom we owe our life, the forming of our soul.

The one who tucked us in at night, the one who stopped our crying, 

the one who was the expert at picking up when we were lying.

The one who saw us off to school and spent sad days alone, 

yet magically produced a smile as soon as we came home.

The one who makes such sacrifices to always put us first, 

who lets us test our broken wings, in spite of how it hurts.

Who paints the world a rainbow when it’s filled with broken dreams, 

who explains it all so clearly when nothing is what it seems.

Are there really any words for this, we find this question tough, 

anything we want to say just doesn’t seem enough.

What way is there to thank you for your heart, your sweat, your tears, 

for ten thousand things you’ve done for oh so many years.

For changing with me as we changed, accepting all my flaws,

 not loving ’cause you had to, but loving just because.

For never giving up on us when your wits had reached its end, 

for always being proud of us, for being our best friend.

And so we come to realize, the only way to say,

 the only thank you that’s enough is clear in just one way.

Look at us before you see what we have become, 

do you see yourself in us, the job that you have done?

All your hopes and all your dreams, the strength that no one could see,

 a transfer over many years, your best was to pass to me(us).

Thank you for the gifts you give, for everything you do,

 but thank you mommy most of all for making our dreamscome true.

– Parv(a staunch believer) and Shrey(a silent spectator).

An Unfathomable World

This is a curious world. A world of weird behaviours. A world of stark differences. A world of mixed emotions and of multiple possibilities. A world where we don’t even know what is real and what is not.

These are strange times, where we no longer understand what is wrong and what is right. A time, where we just follow the stereotypes and try to fit in. A time in which everything is nothing but a cliché about something.

A very peculiar incident today made me realise the meaning of the quote: 

We are all sinners, who judge others for sinning differently

If your normal guy makes a joke about something, it can be racist, it can be outrageous, it can be outright insulting. However, if the same joke is cracked by a comedian, whom you paid money to listen to, you laugh and clap with ecstasy. Uncanny, isn’t it?!

When you try to purchase an Armani wallet from the certified showroom, you are ready to pay the top buck for it. However, you bargain and try to get the best deal from that poor hawker selling the exact same wallet, the Armani tag notwithstanding.

There are many, many, many such examples to speak off. But that does not serve the point. The fact of the matter is that people turn to stereotyping when they run out of originality and creativity. 

The problem is that people don’t understand when to back off. And when they do finally understand it, there is no  option left to retreat. Even if there is, taking it would mean a so call drop in standing in social strata. And this standing is so important that time and again people are ready to kill one-another for it. 

Fortunately for me, I have been gifted with a penchant for observation of human behaviour. Rather than being irritated and angry, most of the times I observe the actions of different people meticulously. Though, this sometimes backfires too, for instance, once I did not realise that my best friend was standing right in front of me because I was so engrossed in my own thoughts, thereby receiving a tight slap from him.😂

And from my uncountable observations of human nature, I have realised one eternal truth- 

People judge a movie by judging how others judge it. 

For example, if one or two bloggers like a particular post, you may as well ignore it altogether. But if the same post is liked by 100 bloggers, you will definitely give it a glance atleast, if not read it fully.

Remember, in any matter,

keep it simple and listen to your heart and your conscience, not to what others say about it or how others perceive it to be. Because, seldom is you heart and conscience wrong. 

Adieu 

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