In an effort to bring their members up to speed about the goings on in the financial world, the AARP has published a list of Wall Street definitions. Amongst the different terms defined by the U.S.-based interest group are “Bitcoin” and “blockchain.”
Is the AARP Glossary Meant to Educate or Entertain Readers?
The group formerly known as the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) has produced a glossary of terms relating to the world of finance.
Featuring in the 10 slide presentation by the AARP are phrases such as “exchange traded funds”, “asset allocation”, and “FICO score.” Of more interest to us, however, is a hilariously dated definition of “Bitcoin” and a tongue-in-cheek explanation of blockchain technology that might well hit more than a little close to the bone for some:
“Bitcoin — A bunch of computer code that a bunch of criminals, idealists and speculators agree is worth ‘real’ money. Sadly, its real-money value swings widely, making it impractical except for criminals, idealists and speculators.”
“Blockchain — 1. A different bunch of computer code containing an unalterable record of a series of transactions. The most famous is a digital ledger recording all Bitcoin transfers.
2. A word often uttered by companies hoping to snare investors’ attention — and dollars.”
The second point on the blockchain slide is probably the closest to an accurate description of either of the two fintech innovations provided by the glossary.
It stirs memories of shameless marketing ploys by the likes of Kodak and Long Blockchain late last year. Both firms saw their share price rocket after announcing that they were looking to implement blockchain technology into their business models.
The glossary is supposedly an effort to help the 38 million ageing AARP members understand “buzzwords bandied about by high-finance big shots.” However, with dated and vague definitions like those referenced, it seems that the piece is more likely to entertain because of the lack of insight it provides rather than educate.
Naturally, Crypto Twitter has had something of a field day with the definitions too:
@AARP advises against Bitcoin. They also probably think social security and fiat money is sustainable https://t.co/yDEAFQasbu
— Carl (@C_as_in_Carl) October 10, 2018
imagine if keeping your car idling 24/7 produced solved Sudokus you could trade for heroin
— the andychrist (@Theophite) August 16, 2018
However, us Bitcoin fans shouldn’t feel too targeted by the definitions put forward by AARP. Other financial buzzwords were defined along similarly ridiculous lines. Take the meaning offered up for “penny stock”, for example:
“Penny stock — A small company’s shares trading for less than $5 apiece, usually not on a major U.S. exchange (such as the Nasdaq ). “Penny” once referred to the low prices of such stocks, but more frequently it predicts your investment’s full value down the line.”
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