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What Is Cryptocurrency? Here’s What You Need to 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 products and services, however uses an online journal with strong cryptography to secure online deals. 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 kind of payment that can be exchanged online for products and services. Many companies have actually issued their own currencies, typically called tokens, and these can be traded specifically for the excellent or service that the company provides. Think of 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 innovation spread throughout lots of computer systems that handles and records deals. Part of the appeal of this innovation 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 market research site. And cryptocurrencies continue to multiply, raising money through preliminary 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 overall value of all bitcoins, the most popular digital currency, was pegged at about $421.7 billion. (You can check the existing rate to purchase Bitcoin here

3. Why are cryptocurrencies so popular?

Cryptocurrencies interest their supporters for a range of factors. Here are some of the most popular:

Fans see cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin as the currency of the future and are racing to buy them now, probably prior to they become more valuable Some fans like the reality that cryptocurrency eliminates reserve banks from managing the cash supply, considering that over time these banks tend to minimize the value of money through inflation Other supporters like the technology behind cryptocurrencies, the blockchain, since it’s a decentralized processing and recording system and can be more safe than standard payment systems Some speculators like cryptocurrencies because they’re going up in worth and have no interest in the currencies’ long-lasting acceptance as a way to move cash

4. Are cryptocurrencies a great investment?

Cryptocurrencies may go up in value, but numerous financiers see them as mere speculations, not real investments. The factor? Much like genuine currencies, cryptocurrencies generate no capital, so for you to benefit, someone needs to pay more for the currency than you did.

That’s what’s called “the greater fool” theory of financial investment. Contrast that to a well-managed company, which increases its value with time by growing the profitability and capital of the operation.

For those who see cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin as the currency of the future, it needs to be kept in mind that a currency needs stability.” As NerdWallet writers have kept in mind, cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin might not be that safe, and some significant voices in the financial investment community have advised potential 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 transmitting cash too. Are checks worth a lot of cash? Just because they can transmit cash?” For those who see cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin as the currency of the future, it needs to be kept in mind that a currency requires stability so that merchants and consumers can determine what a reasonable cost is for goods. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have actually been anything but 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 on. By December 2020, it was trading at record levels again.

This cost volatility produces a problem. If bitcoins might be worth a lot more in the future, people are less likely to spend and distribute them today, making them less viable as a currency. Why spend a bitcoin when it could be worth 3 times the worth next year?

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