Like gold, silver, and paper money, cryptocurrencies are money that exists only in digital form. But unlike those precious metals, cryptocurrencies are not backed by a government. Instead, they’re created and maintained by a network of computers, known as “miners,” that verify transactions and add new units to the currency.
Cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin especially, are all the rage these days. In fact, Bitcoin has been so successful that other cryptocurrencies, like Ethereum, Litecoin, and others, have sprung up in its wake. These alternative currencies offer many of the same benefits as Bitcoin, like decentralized peer-to-peer transactions, but offer different features. The biggest difference is that Bitcoin has a maximum cap of 21 million bitcoins, whereas Ethereum has no cap. This makes Ethereum potentially more valuable, which has attracted many investors.
Bitcoin is, by far, the most well-known cryptocurrency. It’s been around since 2009 and is backed by blockchain technology. Bitcoin was the first virtual currency to come to market, and it’s currently the most popular. Bitcoin’s name comes from the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto, who is said to have created it. Here’s a quick look at Bitcoin and how it works.
Bitcoin has been increasing in popularity recently, especially among certain investing circles. But what exactly is Bitcoin? And how is it different than regular currency or investment options? Bitcoin is a decentralized, digital currency, meaning that no one person or group has control over it. Instead, Bitcoin is made possible thanks to blockchain technology, an open, distributed, and public ledger of transactions that can be programmed to record financial transactions and all exchanges of value.
Bitcoin is one of the most popular cryptocurrencies globally, but what does that mean? A cryptocurrency is a digital form of money based on algorithms and blockchain technology. The decentralized nature of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin makes them different from more traditional means of payment like dollars or euros. Most major credit cards and online purchase systems use third parties like Visa or Mastercard to transact. Bitcoin uses peer-to-peer technology to conduct transactions without going through a financial institution.
The longest and largest blockchain that stores Bitcoin data, blocks, and transactions is called the Bitcoin blockchain, created in 2009. Since its inception, Bitcoin has become a household name and one of the most widely-used cryptocurrencies. But Bitcoin is hardly the only cryptocurrency out there. In fact, there are currently over 1,500 different cryptocurrencies, with thousands being created every day. Cryptocurrency has always been a bit controversial, but governments around the world are starting to see its value, and countries like South Korea and China have recognized cryptocurrencies as legitimate currencies.
The cryptocurrency market is booming. Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies have exploded in popularity in recent years, with the value of a single bitcoin surpassing US$11,000 in January 2018. Bitcoin is the most widely known cryptocurrency, and it’s the first type of cryptocurrency that many investors are interested in.
The Bitcoin cryptocurrency is the fastest and most widely accepted digital currency. It is constantly growing in popularity and value. Currently, you can buy Bitcoin at over 400,000 locations around the world, and over 12,000 merchants have accepted Bitcoin as payment. Bitcoin is not to be confused with the similar-sounding but entirely different cryptocurrency Litecoin.
Bitcoin is the most well-known cryptocurrency, and it uses the blockchain to store all transaction records. (Blockchains are computer files that are linked together and allow different users to access and interact with the information.) What makes Bitcoin so revolutionary is that it allows users to pay for goods and services by simply entering their username, password, and other personal information, without having to go through a third party (like PayPal). If you use a Bitcoin wallet, also sometimes referred to as a bitcoin wallet app, to send and receive bitcoins, you can do everything from buying and selling goods to sending and receiving money.
The currency is often compared to precious metals like gold and silver, but it offers more advantages than gold does, including faster transactions and, again, no government involvement. Most cryptocurrency investors have seen the value skyrocket on the exchanges, but many people are still not familiar with the currency. More importantly, if you want to invest, how can you find and invest in it?