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What is Bitcoin?!

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Bitcoin, cryptocurrency, blockchain; all words that have been circulating throughout social media, and concepts that not everyone understands. Before you can even begin to consider whether or not this is something you’re interested in investing in, let’s breakdown what each of these things mean.

After scrounging through a multitude of different articles and explanations, at it’s most basic, here are the simplest definitions:


To begin with, cryptocurrency is simply a digital form of currency. We are used to dollars and euros, etc. Cryptocurrency is simply another way to express a monetary amount, but it’s all done online and it operates separately from any sort of bank.

There are many different types of cryptocurrencies, such as Ethereum, Ripple and Bitcoin, that are available for anyone to access. Currently, Bitcoin is the most common form, and it’s often used as the benchmark for other forms of cryptocurrencies.

And finally, blockchain, the rather simple, yet hard to explain concept. Blockchain is the underlying technology that is used by cryptocurrency. It can serve many other purposes as well, but it’s most well-known usage is for things like Bitcoin.

Breaking it down, for whichever purpose it is being used, the necessary information is locked inside of a ‘block’, which can only be accessed by someone who has the right ‘key’. For cryptocurrencies, everything is encrypted, which means to get access into the block, the key is retrieved via solving complicated math problems. Most things are composed of a collection of blocks, once you get one key, you need to solve another equation to get access to the next; this forms the blockchain. The process of solving these equations and getting access into the blocks is what is referred to as mining.

Like mentioned previously, blockchain technology serves more purposes outside of uses in cryptocurrency. This article takes a look at all the different ways that blockchain is being used to innovate current systems, such as crowdfunding, healthcare and protecting information on the cloud.

Is it confusing? Yes, without a doubt, at first glance it is a completely foreign concept. However, once you break it all down and take the time to understand what this technology is capable of, it opens you up to a plethora of different opportunities. Collectively, we can only begin to imagine where we will go from here, before a gifted individual figures it out and changes the world as we understand it, once again.

unsplash-logoAndre Francois

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The Top 5 Fitness Exhibitors at YYCfit

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The Health & Fitness Expo was in town this weekend, and we had an opportunity to check out some of 2018’s newest and coolest exhibits that local fitness pros had to offer.

OB Organic’s

An online based High Performance Food Menu, OB Organic’s is “a specialty food manufacturer dedicated to providing high quality solutions for athletes on the go, who wish to combine their performance needs with enjoyable eating.

With nationwide shipping, customers are able to select from a variety of different flavours of Paleo Protein Chocolate Cups and Protein Paleo Donuts.

According to their website,

“[Their] products are made with carefully sourced ingredients, and are free from the usual sugars and artificial substances that come with most snack foods.  The end result is a delicious, low glycemic snack, packed with healthy fats and high quality protein.”

Balletiques

A combination of ballet and fitness, owner Sarah Stewart has taken her illustrious dancing background to bring to Calgary a new and fun way to burn those calories.

With no previous dance experience required, anyone can follow along to a step by step breakdown of fundamentals and get in a good workout at the same time.

Set to the latest up-beat pop music, this unique ballet-inspired fitness class will help build, define and tone long, lean muscles.”

The new Spring session schedule is now available for sign up, and your first class to attend is free!

Strike Combat Archery

What is Combat Archery you ask? Well according to the website you “[t]ake all of the adrenaline-pumping excitement of paintball, mix it with the charm of being Legolas or Catnis and remove the overwhelming pain.

Great for team-building, corporate or private events, Combat Archery is the perfect way to unleash all that pent up steam against your coworkers, in a completely nonlethal way.

Fully mobile, Combat Archery can either come to you, or set up a space for you to bring your friends, where you can enjoy a day of taking each other out without any consequences. Go to their website to book an event for you and your party.

Bolder

Calgary’s first bouldering specific climbing centre, Bolder is the perfect place for climbers of any skill level to check out. Open 7 days a week, the centre offers 5300sqft of bouldering terrain, a separate training area, a multipurpose mezzanine, and a cafe.

Bolder also offers different workshops and programs which you can check out on their website, and as an added bonus, any climbers that go in before 1 pm on weekdays only have to pay $10!

The Beach YYC

It’s hard to be a fan of beach volleyball when you are a resident of Calgary. Opening summer of 2018, The Beach YYC will be Calgary’s only indoor beach volleyball facility.

According to their pamphlet the centre will be based in the community of Ramsay and will offer the following:

  • Year-round beach volleyball leagues and tournaments
  • Ultimate frisbee leagues and drop-in times
  • Yoga
  • Rental space (meetings, team building, social events)

For more information about the recreation facility and their upcoming opening day, check out their official website.

unsplash-logoGeert Pieters

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Can You Become a Successful Student-preneur?

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Most of us have either seen or heard of popular TV series, Dragon’s Den, where hopeful entrepreneur’s stand before a panel of venture capitalists to pitch their ideas, in the hopes that they may secure financial investing for their startups.

While not all of us can be guaranteed a spot on the show, on a much smaller scale, venture capitalists, angel investors and others around the world look for opportunities to help entrepreneurs grow and develop their businesses.

More universities and colleges have incorporated entrepreneurial education into their curriculum to promote the undertaking of starting your own company. Mount Royal University’s (MRU) Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship recently had their annual JMH $70,000 LaunchPad Pitch Competition.

Founded to support those MRU students who are ambitious enough to pursue their own ventures, the initiative is funded largely by donations from JMH&CO. According to the website, over the past five years alone, there has been a total of $250,000 donated to support the program.

For this year’s competition, JMH&CO. put forth $40,000 along with $10,000 each from LaBarge Weinstein, Trout + Taylor and the Busy Foundation. Six students had the opportunity to win up to $70,000 for their endeavour should they impress the judging panel, which consisted people of note, including Alice Reimer, serial entrepreneur, Andrew Browne, co-founder and CEO of TikTiks, and Patrick Lor, serial entrepreneur and venture capitalist.

After hours preparing, each student went up and put forth their best pitch and showcase to sway the crowd. For a further look into the speakers and their companies, click on their profile links below:

Vigo

Lobo Development Ltd.

StudentSaver

Connor’s Carwash

S’WEARIT

The sixth, and final company, CommunityKit, did not provide us with any additional information, and therefore were unable to be featured.

MRU put on a great showcase of their students and what the Institute has to offer for future entrepreneurs. Yes, the odds are generally stacked against most startups, but with universities like MRU trying to create an environment for growth, there may be a light at the end of the tunnel.

Congrats to all the winners and we wish all the success to those brave enough to pursue their ambitions.

unsplash-logoJordan Encarnacao

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