Sharon Nelson, John Simek, and Jim McCauley’s article, “Is It Ethical for Lawyers to Accept Bitcoins and Other Cryptocurrencies?” was featured recently in Slaw Magazine. Slaw is a Canadian online legal magazine.
Excerpt: Cryptocurrencies are created by a process called mining – by becoming a miner of cryptocurrencies, you make money (not much unless you are a major league miner). We won’t go into all of the technology that is used to create and verify the transactions since it will probably make your head hurt. Mining is accomplished by executing complicated mathematic operations which takes a lot of processing power. Hence the new phenomenon of cryptojacking in which miners hijack the computing resources of unknowing victims so they can mine cryptocurrencies. And yes, your network could be victimized and there is little chance you would know unless so much power is used that your network slows down!
Today there are a lot of different cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin is still one of the most well-known and popular. However, other cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Monero, Litecoin, Ripple, Dash, etc., are gaining in popularity. They promise to scale better than Bitcoin and provide stronger anonymous protections. As of April 26, 2018, the amazing number of different cryptocurrencies is 1,759 according to investing.com’s current list located at https://www.investing.com/crypto/currencies. With all the various “flavors” of digital currencies, we’re sure you’ll find one to your liking.
All cryptocurrency transactions are recorded in a computer file called a blockchain, which is synonymous to a ledger that deals with conventional money. Users send and receive bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies from their mobile device, computer or web application by using wallet software. You can even use cloud services to host and manage your wallet(s). Frankly, we prefer to have direct control and keep our wallet(s) stored on local devices. Don’t forget to backup your wallet(s).