Unit 21 Reading Activity

Read the following text and then complete the activities.

Daniel's Fintech Startup - A Short Story

Daniel took a sip of his coffee, taking in a deep breath. The coffee felt cold and a bit too sweet. Convincing his friend about the new investment was taking longer than he expected. He set the cup on the table and decided to give it another try.

"Look, I know that you've heard stories about the dark web and such. But, that's not what blockchain is all about. Cryptocurrencies are fungible, they can be used just like the money you're used to. And, by the way, the dark web is not all bad."

Martin looked back at his friend with a raised eyebrow.

"OK, so let's say I go with your altcoin thing. How do I know it's not another..."


"Yeah, shitcoin. You're showing me these figures but online people are talking about mooning and that it's pointless. I know you believe in what you're doing but I've got to cover my back."

Daniel tapped his fingers on the table.

"Here is the thing. All I'm asking you is to help with the mining. You've got some good computers doing nothing. It's not too late to jump in. I'm not saying that you'll be driving a lambo tomorrow either."

Martin's face relaxed a bit.

"Go on"

"Ok, so you know how every cryptocurrency gets a lot of hype. I understand why you're worried. The difference here is, we're dealing with two things a stable coin and an altcoin. While the market does tend to be volatile, we're sort of hedging our bets. In effect, we shouldn't be more at risk than anybody else trading regular fiat currencies."

Martin's forehead wrinkled, making him look his age. The years he sacrificed to build up his business were beginning to show. He squinted his eyes and directed his gaze straight into Daniel's pupils.

"Well, if I do it, it's not for the money. I'm fine with that. What I care more about is helping with a contribution. I believe in daps. Decentralized applications are the future. The only thing is, I just need to understand the technology better."

Daniel felt his pulse speed up. If Martin agreed to this deal, he would have 100 state-of-the-art computers working for him. And, he would be making money in sleep. He leaned closer and pushed the paper in front of him toward Martin.

"This document explains everything, It shows how the double spend problem is solved. You can have a paper wallet if that's how you want to keep your private key. This chart explains the consensus process. Common, you should know this - I'm sure you've got a satoshi or two stashed away for the rainy day'"

Martin's laughter filled the room. He did have a reputation as a smart investor. After all, one doesn't build a successful fintech company without some amount of sharp wit. Together with his team, he created a cipher that made is easier to make international transactions safely. But, cryptocurrency wasn't his main focus.

"Daniel, my friend... As long as you understand that this is not the traditional way to do things, I'm fine. This also means you take full responsibility for the outcome. I'll cover the energy bills for the next 12 weeks. And you can use the lab. But then, that's it. You're on your own."

"Yes, Sir! That's more than enough for us to get going!"

"And one more thing. I built this company following my own principles. This is the last time I'm taking this kind of risk."

Daniel knew better than to say anything. Right now, all that mattered was that he could start tomorrow.