There are many people who are polarized on the subject of cryptocurrency. Some are very positive about cryptocurrencies, while others are highly skeptical. Nobel Prize-winning economists like Paul Krugman and Robert Shiller are skeptics. Others have pointed to the link between cryptocurrencies and terrorist attacks. Regardless of your personal view, the future of crypto seems bright. But before you dive into the world of cryptocurrencies, make sure you understand the basics.
Bitcoin is one of the most popular cryptocurrencies, and was invented by an anonymous person, Satoshi Nakamoto. There are thousands of other cryptocurrencies, and each one claims to serve a different purpose. For instance, Ethereum’s ether is marketed as “gas” for a smart contract platform, while Ripple’s XRP is used to facilitate bank transfers. Like fiat currencies, however, cryptocurrencies do not have the backing of a government. They are backtopped by the Federal Reserve.
Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, Zcash, and Monero are all popular cryptocurrencies, though there are many more. The value of these cryptocurrencies fluctuates constantly, and there is no central authority to regulate them. These benefits make them the preferred currency of many people who need to send money online. As a side note, cryptocurrencies are not without their downsides. Although they can be a great investment, they are also notorious for being prone to scams. Scammers will do whatever they can to get your personal information, passwords, or bank account information.
Despite all the negative aspects of cryptocurrency, it has plenty of positive aspects. Unlike traditional currencies, cryptocurrency can be easily accepted in online stores and retailers. Many of them will accept it through a payment processor or payment service. Some services convert the money you receive in cryptocurrencies automatically. Some companies even offer crypto-top-up debit cards that can be used interchangeably with regular plastic cards. Getting started with cryptocurrency is relatively simple. If you are interested in a business or service that accepts cryptocurrency as a payment option, read on.
Unlike conventional currencies, cryptocurrencies are based on blockchain technology. A blockchain is a series of computer programs called nodes that solve a complicated cryptographic problem. Each node broadcasts the solution to the rest of the network. Because nodes are rewarded for their efforts, the process of bitcoin transactions is secure and self-policing. If a node is compromised, it takes over half of the network to change it. A blockchain is an immutable record of information, which makes it impossible to forge.
Because of the volatility of cryptocurrency markets, there are several risks involved. There is no standard method of calculating the rate of return for crypto. It is traded from person to person without regulation and thus no pattern can be established. Therefore, it is not advisable to invest in cryptocurrencies without doing your research. Moreover, you may end up losing money, which can be dangerous. So, it is wise to choose a trusted company or ICO. If you’re not sure whether or not a company is legitimate, use a national reporting center.