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What Is Cryptocurrency? Here’s What You Must Know
Cryptocurrencies let you buy items and services, or trade them for profit. Here’s more about what cryptocurrency is, how to buy it and how to secure yourself.

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A cryptocurrency (or “crypto”) is a digital currency that can be used to purchase products and services, but uses an online ledger with strong cryptography to protect online deals. Much of the interest in these unregulated currencies is to trade for profit, with speculators sometimes driving rates skyward.

Here are seven things to inquire about cryptocurrency, and what to look out for.

1. What is cryptocurrency?

Cryptocurrency is a form of payment that can be exchanged online for items and services. Many companies have issued their own currencies, frequently called tokens, and these can be traded specifically for the good or service that the business offers. Consider them as you would arcade tokens or casino chips. You’ll require to exchange genuine currency for the cryptocurrency to access the good or service.

Cryptocurrencies work using an innovation called blockchain. Blockchain is a decentralized technology spread across numerous computers that handles and records transactions. Part of the appeal of this innovation is its security.

2. How many cryptocurrencies exist? What are they worth?

More than 6,700 various cryptocurrencies are traded publicly, according to CoinMarketCap.com, a marketing research website. And cryptocurrencies continue to multiply, raising money through preliminary coin offerings, or ICOs. The total worth of all cryptocurrencies on Dec. 18, 2020, was more than $645.7 billion, according to CoinMarketCap, and the overall value of all bitcoins, the most popular digital currency, was pegged at about $421.7 billion. (You can check the present rate to purchase Bitcoin here

3. Why are cryptocurrencies so popular?

Cryptocurrencies attract their advocates for a range of factors. Here are a few of the most popular:

Advocates see cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin as the currency of the future and are racing to purchase them now, presumably before they become better Some fans like the reality that cryptocurrency eliminates central banks from handling the money supply, because with time these banks tend to minimize the worth of money by means of inflation Other fans like the innovation behind cryptocurrencies, the blockchain, since it’s a decentralized processing and recording system and can be more safe and secure than conventional payment systems Some speculators like cryptocurrencies because they’re increasing in worth and have no interest in the currencies’ long-term acceptance as a way to move cash

4. Are cryptocurrencies a great investment?

Cryptocurrencies may increase in value, but numerous financiers see them as simple speculations, not real financial investments. The reason? Similar to genuine currencies, cryptocurrencies produce no capital, so for you to profit, someone has to pay more for the currency than you did.

That’s what’s called “the higher fool” theory of financial investment. Contrast that to a well-managed company, which increases its value over time by growing the success and cash flow of the operation.

For those who see cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin as the currency of the future, it must be noted that a currency requires stability.” As NerdWallet authors have noted, cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin might not be that safe, and some noteworthy voices in the investment neighborhood have encouraged would-be financiers to steer clear of them. Of particular note, famous investor Warren Buffett compared Bitcoin to paper checks: “It’s a really reliable method of sending money and you can do it anonymously and all that. A check is a method of transmitting money too. Are checks worth a whole lot of cash? Just because they can send cash?” For those who see cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin as the currency of the future, it must be kept in mind that a currency needs stability so that merchants and consumers can identify what a fair price is for goods. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have been anything however stable through much of their history. For instance, while Bitcoin traded at near to $20,000 in December 2017, its worth then dropped to as low as about $3,200 a year later. By December 2020, it was trading at record levels again.

This price volatility develops a dilemma. If bitcoins might be worth a lot more in the future, people are less most likely to invest and circulate them today, making them less viable as a currency. Why invest a bitcoin when it could be worth three times the value next year?

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