Cryptocurrency is a type of digital money that is intended to be anonymous and, in many cases, free. It is an internet-associated currency that uses cryptography to track transactions and transfers, the method of transforming legible information into an almost uncrack able code. Cryptography was born out of the Second World War’s need for safe communication. With elements of mathematical theory and computer science, it has developed in the digital age to become a way to protect online communications, information and money.
- How do crypto-currencies work?
Crypto-currencies use decentralized technology without the need to use their name or go through a bank to let users make safe payments and store money. They run on a block chain, a distributed public ledger, which is a database of all transactions updated and kept by currency holders. Cryptocurrency units are generated via a method called mining, which involves using computer power to solve complex coin-generating math problems. Users may also purchase the currencies from dealers, then use cryptographic wallets to store and spend them.
Crypto-currencies and block chain technology implementations are still emerging in economic terms and more uses can be anticipated. Eventually, transactions including bonds, stocks and other financial assets could be traded using the software.
- Why would you use a cryptocurrency?
Crypto-currencies are known to provide a level of anonymity and to be secure. It is difficult to fake or reverse transactions in them and low fees appear to occur, making it more secure than traditional currency. Their decentralized existence implies that they are open to everyone, while setting up can be difficult and few stores consider them for spending.
The cryptocurrency markets have suddenly boomed as a new source of cash, meaning a small investment can become a large amount overnight.
This has led to a spur in investing in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies by experienced and amateur speculators, seeing them either as a rapid way of making returns or as part of an investment portfolio. But the other way works the same. The instability of the market and the risks they take while investing should be known to individuals looking to invest in cryptocurrencies. Several times, they have fallen drastically, potentially losing investors their millions.
Cryptocurrencies are often connected to illegal activity, especially on the dark web, due to the degree of anonymity they give. When deciding to purchase currencies, users should be wary about the connotations.
- What are the most common cryptocurrencies?
- Bitcoin: Bitcoin was the first and is still the most widely traded cryptocurrency.
- Ethereum: It has proved hugely popular as a launch pad for other cryptocurrencies in 2017, which use the Ethereum block chain’s code.
- Ripple: Another distributed ledger framework which was created in 2012 is Ripple. It is possible to use Ripple to monitor more forms of transactions, not just cryptocurrencies. The organization behind it has partnered with banks and financial institutions, including Santander. It has a market capitalization of about 24 billion dollars.
- Litecoin: This currency is a bitcoin-like currency, but it has moved faster to introduce new technologies, including faster payments and processes that allow many more transactions. The cumulative amount of all Litecoin is approximately 6 billion dollars.