Blockchain for Beginners

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If you’re like me, you keep a close watch on your expenditures, are adept at using coupons and Groupons, and time your family food shopping for the big sale days at your favorite grocery chain.

But when it comes to deeper financial literacy, I must admit – I don’t really know (and not for lack of trying, trust me!) the difference between an IPO, Drip Pricing, Preferred Dividends or Margin Calls.

So, when the latest monetary buzzword “Blockchain” started appearing all over the internet and the morning news shows playing on the TV monitors during my cardio time at the gym, I was a bit intrigued and wanted to know more.

So Just What is Blockchain?

Originally developed for financial records, blockchain is most often associated with Cryptocurrencies (“crypto” means a digital representation of money), like Bitcoin. Taking the word apart you have the “block”—which is a permanent step created when an encoded transaction is passed along a digital ledger on a network of computers. The “chain” happens when each block is connected. Ergo, Blockchain.

Scouring the internet for a “Blockchain 101” type explanation, I found a simple example by private company data experts CB Insights. In it, they created a fictional scenario with Alice and Bob, where Alice gives Bob a physical arcade token and their “business” is done – nothing to prove, no need for a witness, and it’s easy to see who has what.

However, if they had conducted this matter digitally through a traditional intermediary like a bank or other type of financial institution, the exchange of funds could have taken an unwanted turn. For example, a hacker could have hijacked the funds midway. Or, Alice or Bob could have altered the records somehow. And then there is always the ever-present possibility of a technology crash where a record of the transaction may be lost.

But because blockchain transactions are safely encoded in real time, and they remove the typical third-party authority trust factor, only one person can claim ownership of the funds at a time.

The part that got my attention was that blockchain can be used to transfer more than just money. For example, family members could safely share passport numbers when booking their summer vacation. It would eliminate the worry about sending my Last Will and Testament to my attorney’s office by mail. Confidential medical records could also get to their intended destination without fear of compromise. These are just a few of the uses for blockchain technology.

Blockchain Technology is Changing How We Work and Live

There are an increasing number of major Fortune 500 companies out there modifying their business practices to harness the power of blockchain technology as an integral part of their business plans. In fact, publications like Forbes, Fortune, TechCrunch and Innovation Enterprise report that several global government bodies are either considering or already using it to improve the effectiveness and costs of their systems and processes. Dubai, Sierra Leone, Estonia, and the U.S. are among them.

MyTravelBiz™ (MTB), founded by Atif Kamran, also the company president, and Geraldine Aquino, its Chief Executive Officer, is the first Direct Selling company with its marketing plan built on blockchain. By combining travel, Direct Selling and blockchain, they offer the best travel deals on an innovative patent-pending platform. And in the process, are creating a global community of Entrepreneurs.

“For a variety of reasons, the Multi-level Marketing/Direct Selling industry has been unfairly criticized due to a lack of understanding about how it works,” said Kamran. “But we saw early on how blockchain would revolutionize the way companies like ours, and those in this and other industries, do business. The ease, efficiency, security, data error prevention, and reduction in staff time are among the reasons why this technology has become so valuable. We believe that the steps embedded, if you will, in the technology will help turn the industry around, bring it into the now and make it work for today’s Entrepreneurs.”

As such, Kamran and Aquino built the company—from their marketing plan, to their commission payout, staff salaries, and innovative travel platform on blockchain because, overall, they knew it was just a smarter way to conduct business.

As such, Kamran and Aquino built the company—from their marketing plan, to their commission payout, staff salaries, and innovative travel platform on blockchain because, overall, they knew it was just a smarter way to conduct business.

Another benefit is by paying their Representatives using blockchain, MyTravelBiz can ensure that their commissions are registered and verified with “proof of ownership,” since the transactions are safely encoded in real time.

Since MyTravelBiz launched in mid-September 2017, their global Representatives have grown at an exponential pace from 21, to over 1,700. Each is enjoying not only the financial rewards offered by becoming entrepreneurs, but also the unlimited opportunity and potential the company offers.

“By using blockchain technology to be at the forefront of innovation in the industry, we can continue to develop trailblazing business platforms,” said Kamran. “This in turn helps us arm our Representatives with the products and tools they need to achieve their goals.”

By understanding the power of blockchain, I can more readily see how I—a “regular Jane” not involved in high-tech business, finance, or other corporate industry—can use blockchain to help secure my own financial future.

Who says you can’t teach a naïve frugal spender a new, financial literacy game changer?

This article was originally published on

October 2020 Update:

Those who want to delve into this topic a little deeper may want to read "The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Blockchain."

Written by Jesús Cedeño, a cryptocurrency expert, writer, and investor, the guide provides a way to fully understand and appreciate this revolutionary and disruptive technology, including historical details about nascent technology and its evolutionary progress through the first decade of existence, exploration of the different types of this technology, and why the blockchain name is a misnomer, among other valuable insights.


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