Bitcoin Today

What Is Cryptocurrency? Here’s What You Need to 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 protect yourself.

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

Here are seven 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 products and services. Lots of companies have provided their own currencies, typically called tokens, and these can be traded specifically for the great or service that the company supplies. Think of them as you would arcade tokens or casino chips. You’ll need to exchange real currency for the cryptocurrency to access the great or service.

Cryptocurrencies work utilizing a technology called blockchain. Blockchain is a decentralized technology spread across lots of computers that manages and tape-records deals. 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 openly, according to CoinMarketCap.com, a marketing research site. And cryptocurrencies continue to multiply, raising money through initial coin offerings, or ICOs. The total value of all cryptocurrencies on Dec. 18, 2020, was more than $645.7 billion, according to CoinMarketCap, and the total worth of all bitcoins, the most popular digital currency, was pegged at about $421.7 billion. (You can examine the existing price to purchase Bitcoin here

3. Why are cryptocurrencies so popular?

Cryptocurrencies appeal to their fans for a range of factors. Here are some of the most popular:

Advocates see cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin as the currency of the future and are racing to buy them now, probably before they become better Some advocates like the truth that cryptocurrency eliminates reserve banks from handling the money supply, since in time these banks tend to decrease the value 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 than conventional payment systems Some speculators like cryptocurrencies because they’re going up in worth and have no interest in the currencies’ long-term approval as a method to move cash

4. Are cryptocurrencies a good investment?

Cryptocurrencies might go up in value, but many investors see them as mere speculations, not real financial investments. The factor? Similar to genuine currencies, cryptocurrencies generate no cash flow, so for you to benefit, someone has 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 company, 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 ought to be kept in mind that a currency requires stability.” As NerdWallet writers have noted, cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin may not be that safe, and some notable voices in the financial investment community have recommended would-be investors to avoid them. Of particular note, famous investor Warren Buffett compared Bitcoin to paper checks: “It’s an extremely reliable way of transmitting money and you can do it anonymously and all that. A check is a way of transferring cash too. Are checks worth a lot of money? Even if they can send money?” 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 determine what a reasonable price is for goods. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have been anything but stable through much of their history. For instance, while Bitcoin traded at near $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 again.

This cost volatility creates a quandary. If bitcoins might be worth a lot more in the future, individuals are less most likely to invest and flow them today, making them less feasible as a currency. Why spend a bitcoin when it could be worth three times the value next year?

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