The Washington Post discusses cryptocurrencies with Jim Harper.
Mainstream investors spent much of last year trying to figure out how to jump in on bitcoin, the digital currency for which prices ballooned to as high as $19,000 in recent months. But even as people hope to make a quick buck by trading on the cryptocurrency's shifting value, experts in the field have long been exploring other alternatives that could hold just as much promise. As we head into the new year, here are a few crypto-assets that analysts say are worth watching.
But remember: As exciting as it may be to think about investing, the risks here are equally great. As with other highly volatile assets, you might want to think twice about getting involved — unless you're willing to accept losing it all.
One of bitcoin's original benefits was the promise of anonymity. After all, every wallet or account associated with bitcoin is identified simply by a jumble of letters and numbers, not a person's real name. But soon, law enforcement and academics began demonstrating that simply by analyzing a particular bitcoin wallet's public transaction history you could deduce with relative accuracy who the owner could be. It's similar to the way looking at your cellphone's location records or Web browsing history can give an indication as to who you are.
“The anonymity it offers is kind of brittle, is the way I've described it,” said Jim Harper, the executive vice president of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a Washington think tank.
Read the full article at The Washington Post.