November is Cryptocurrency Literacy Month

If you’ve been hearing the word “crypto’ a lot lately, you’re not alone. And if you’re curious about whether you may be missing out on something important, well, you’ve come to the right place.

November is Crypto Literacy Month, an initiative designed by, a consortium of industry insiders Coinme, CoinDesk and Digital Currency Group to promote education and awareness of this digital commerce option.

There have been a lot of interesting developments on the cryptocurrency front. CNBC, for example, recently announced that Mastercard is poised to introduce crypto into their products, including Bitcoin wallets, credit and debit cards that earn rewards in crypto, and loyalty programs where airline and hotel points can be converted into bitcoin.

Bitcoin ATMs (abbreviated as BATM) are starting to pop up in the area, reflecting a national trend that has seen the number of BATMs more than double in just the past year. A BATM is a kiosk that allows a person to buy Bitcoin using an automatic teller machine. Some Bitcoin ATMs offer bi-directional functionality enabling both the purchase and sale of Bitcoin for cash. Bitcoin machines are not exactly the same as traditional ATMs but work in a similar fashion.

BATM kiosks are connected to the Internet, allowing the insertion of cash or a credit card in exchange for Bitcoin. They look like traditional ATMs, but they connect the customer directly to a Bitcoin exchange instead of a bank account for a localized and convenient way to purchase Bitcoin in person. Common locations for Bitcoin ATMs are inside of a retail store, shop, tavern, restaurant, mall or airport.

Another recent development is the availability of gift cards with cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin that can be used to purchase Amazon, Fortnite V-bucks, Google Play, iTunes, Nintendo Store, PlayStation Network, Roblox, Steam, the Xbox Store and other leading brands.

If you’re looking for more information about how your business can get in on the crypto game, give us a call at (800) 866-3944. And if you want to test your crypto knowledge, hop on over to and take the Crypto Literacy Challenge or learn more about crypto from one of their crypto literacy courses.

Should my business be concerned about cryptocurrencies?

Anyone who follows the financial industry has heard of cryptocurrencies by now. And because of the potential for cryptocurrencies to disrupt the current payment ecosystem, the business world began paying attention to this new technology a few years ago. With all the talk surrounding cryptocurrencies, many of our clients are wondering if their business will be affected by them. So what is a cryptocurrency and how will it affect your business? Let’s find out.

What are cryptocurrencies?
A cryptocurrency is a digital currency in which encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of units of currency and verify the transfer of funds, all while operating independently of a central bank. Each transfer of funds is entered into a peer-to-peer (P2P) database that no one can change without fulfilling specific conditions. Now that we know what cryptocurrencies are, lets discuss how they operate.

How do cryptocurrencies work?
The technology that allows cryptocurrencies to function is known as the blockchain. The blockchain is a continuously growing list of records, called “blocks”, which are linked and secured using cryptography. Each block typically contains three things: a cryptographic hash of the previous block, a timestamp, and transaction data.

When a new transaction occurs, the requested transaction is sent out to a P2P network consisting of computers known as nodes. Using algorithms, the network of nodes attempts to verify the validity of the transaction. If all the nodes agree that the transaction is valid, a new record of the transaction (a block) is created and added to the current blockchain in a manner that is permanent and unalterable. This means that, by design, a blockchain is inherently resistant to modification of transaction data.

Do you need to be worried about cryptocurrencies within your business?
The short answer is no, you don’t need to be worried about cryptocurrencies within your business. However, the technology that is running all cryptocurrencies has the potential to revolutionize the payments industry. How?

A few months ago, Visa’s blockchain team was looking at options to make transactions run faster and more securely, on the back of blockchain technology. To do this, Visa partnered with a blockchain technology company, Chain. This is what Chain had to say about their new partnership with Visa:

“Visa is working with Chain to build Visa B2B Connect using Chain Core, an enterprise blockchain infrastructure that facilitates financial transactions on scalable, private blockchain networks. Building on this technology, Visa is developing a new, near real-time, transaction system, designed for the exchange of high-value international payments between participating banks on behalf of their corporate clients. Managed by Visa end-to-end, Visa B2B Connect will facilitate a consistent process to manage settlement through Visa’s standard practices.With Visa B2B Connect, Visa aims to significantly improve the way international B2B payments are made today by offering clear costs, improved delivery time, and visibility into the transaction process—ultimately reducing the investment and resources required by banks and their corporate clients to send and receive business payments.”

As you can see, this example is just the tip of the iceberg as far as what will soon be possible with blockchain technology. As other industries and companies begin to utilize blockchain technology, it’ll be fascinating to see all the new fintech ideas that result from its use and modification.

In closing: No, you don’t need to be concerned about the effect of cryptocurrencies on your business. In fact, you should be excited to see the new ways this technology will be utilized to improve banking transaction processes and efficiency.