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

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A cryptocurrency (or “crypto”) is a digital currency that can be used to buy items and services, however uses an online ledger with strong cryptography to secure online transactions. Much of the interest in these uncontrolled currencies is to trade for profit, with speculators sometimes driving costs skyward.

Here are 7 things to ask about cryptocurrency, and what to watch out for.

1. What is cryptocurrency?

Cryptocurrency is a type of payment that can be exchanged online for goods and services. Many business have released their own currencies, typically called tokens, and these can be traded specifically for the good or service that the business supplies. Consider them as you would arcade tokens or gambling establishment chips. You’ll need to exchange genuine currency for the cryptocurrency to access the good or service.

Cryptocurrencies work utilizing an innovation called blockchain. Blockchain is a decentralized innovation spread across numerous computer systems that manages and tape-records deals. Part of the appeal of this technology is its security.

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

More than 6,700 different cryptocurrencies are traded publicly, according to CoinMarketCap.com, a marketing research site. And cryptocurrencies continue to proliferate, 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 price to purchase Bitcoin here

3. Why are cryptocurrencies so popular?

Cryptocurrencies attract their fans for a variety of factors. Here are some of the most popular:

Supporters see cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin as the currency of the future and are racing to purchase them now, most likely before they become better Some fans like the truth that cryptocurrency gets rid of central banks from handling the cash supply, considering that over time these banks tend to minimize the value of cash by means of inflation Other fans like the technology behind cryptocurrencies, the blockchain, due to the fact that it’s a decentralized processing and recording system and can be more safe and secure than conventional payment systems Some speculators like cryptocurrencies due to the fact that they’re increasing in value and have no interest in the currencies’ long-term approval as a method to move money

4. Are cryptocurrencies an excellent investment?

Cryptocurrencies might increase in value, however lots of investors see them as simple speculations, not real financial investments. The reason? Just like real currencies, cryptocurrencies create no capital, so for you to profit, someone needs to pay more for the currency than you did.

That’s what’s called “the greater fool” theory of investment. Contrast that to a well-managed organization, which increases its worth over time by growing the success and capital of the operation.

For those who see cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin as the currency of the future, it should be kept in mind that a currency requires stability.” As NerdWallet authors have kept in mind, cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin may not be that safe, and some noteworthy voices in the financial investment community have encouraged would-be financiers to stay away from them. Of particular note, famous financier Warren Buffett compared Bitcoin to paper checks: “It’s an extremely effective method of transferring money and you can do it anonymously and all that. A check is a way of transmitting money too. Are checks worth a lot of cash? Even if they can transmit money?” For those who see cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin as the currency of the future, it should be noted that a currency needs stability so that merchants and customers can identify what a fair cost is for products. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have been anything however stable through much of their history. While Bitcoin traded at close to $20,000 in December 2017, its value then dropped to as low as about $3,200 a year later. By December 2020, it was trading at record levels once again.

This price volatility develops a dilemma. If bitcoins might be worth a lot more in the future, individuals are less most likely to spend and circulate them today, making them less viable as a currency. Why invest a bitcoin when it could be worth 3 times the worth next year?

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