Cryptocurrency is one of the hottest topics on the internet. The recent rise of Ethereum, a new cryptocurrency, has again ignited the topic among its developers and enthusiasts. This has also prompted an increased sale of graphics cards and other mining hardware. This is apparently good for hardware manufacturers, but bad for normal consumers as most of the hardware stock is bought up by miners, increasing the price substantially.
The sudden rise in cryptography’s popularity has made many people craft theories about it. Additionally, the popularity has also prompted many engineers to start streaming cryptocurrency related projects. News outlets and magazines are also flooded with information, related to cryptocurrency.
To filter everything out and give you the real deal, we will list ten things that you should know about cryptocurrency. Before we start the listicle, let’s understand the word, “Cryptocurrency.”
So, what is Cryptocurrency?
Cryptocurrency is based on two words, i.e., “crypto” and “currency.” You may already know what currency stands for. However, “Crypto” is a ‘computer science’ term derived from Cryptography. Cryptocurrency stands for digital cash, and there are many cryptocurrencies available in the market. Bitcoin and Ethereum are two most popular cryptocurrencies out there. Cryptocurrency uses cryptography to deal with the decentralized system including transferring, generating and keeping the distributed ledger available to everyone.
Just like you, Swizec, a developer from San Francisco, US is also interested in learning and sharing information about cryptocurrency. He is currently working on Cryptocurrency project using DataViz and React Native.
1. The origin of Cryptocurrency
“BitCoin” single-handedly started the era of Cryptocurrency. It was the first successful attempt at decentralized digital cash, created by Satoshi Nakamoto (believed to be a group of people under the name), in 2009. However, the attempt to create cryptocurrencies was not new. Earlier attempts to create digital currency goes back to the 1990’s when David Chaum decided to start working on DigiCash. Bad decisions led the company to fail though.
After the release of BitCoin, many new cryptocurrencies surfaced, such as Namecoin in 2011, which attempted to create a decentralized DNS. Over the past few years, many cryptocurrencies were released, but none of them achieved success close to BitCoin. The 2nd best cryptocurrency, right now, is Ethereum and it is enjoying huge success among novice crypto-miners.
2. Cryptocurrencies are unstable
Yes, you read it right. Cryptocurrencies are unstable. For example, Bitcoin value fluctuated from the highs of 2000$ per Bitcoin to the lows of 500$. Right now, the value of one Bitcoin is hovering around $2.5K.
Ethereum, the new cryptocurrency, is also popular among crypto-miners. They are mining Ethereum by heavily investing in hardware. However, the recent dip of Ethereum has put a halt in Ethereum mining.
3. The two popular Cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin and Ethereum
There are over 900 cryptocurrencies on the internet. However, not all of them are popular. The release of BitCoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System by Satoshi Nakamoto prompted new cryptocurrencies to be released on a regular basis.
BitCoin’s success was uncontested at the time of its release. Recently, Ethereum has gained a lot of love from the crypto-miners. It is currently hovering around $300 per Ethereum. Both, Bitcoin and Ethereum are at the top of the cryptocurrencies market right now. They are widely adopted and accepted by the market.
4. Cryptocurrencies are widely accepted and can be used to buy a lot of things
Just because cryptocurrency is a digital currency, it doesn’t mean that it can only be used online or traded with similar currencies. Cryptocurrencies are accepted almost everywhere- from online shopping portals to the restaurants. You can also use Bitcoins to order pizzas! And, what if we told you that a guy in 2010 used 10,000 Bitcoins to get two pizzas? If he didn’t made the choice, he would have a wealth of over $20 million now.
5. ICO – A new economic model
Initial Coin Offering(ICO) has suddenly grabbed the attention of the market. Startups are using ICO to raise funds, and you will be astonished to find out how fast they are raising their funds. Brave, a web browser created by Brendan Eich, raised a total of $35 million in just 30 seconds after the ICO was released to the market.
So, what is Initial Coin Offering(ICO)? ICO is a cryptocurrency project where a startup raises money without any regulation whatsoever. The idea is to get funded during the initial development phases. The ICO participants, on the other hand, buy the tokens in anticipation of future profit. It is similar to creating a new cryptocurrency. You can read more about ICO here.
LiveEdu, a live and video tutorial learning platform is going to launch its ICO soon.
6. Bitcoin is the strongest cryptocurrency in the market
Early adaptation has enabled Bitcoin to be the strongest cryptocurrency in the market. As discussed earlier, the value of one Bitcoin hovers around $2500. Analysts are already speculating that the value of Bitcoin will only increase from hereon. According to Analyst Ronnie Moas, the value of the Bitcoin can rise from 80% – 100% in 2018-2019. He also states that ups and downs are part of the game, and eventually, it will reach more value in the upcoming years, even with a finite supply in the market.
7. Anonymity associated with Cryptocurrency
One of the biggest reasons why Cryptocurrency succeeded is its anonymous feature-set. It is anonymous for three reasons:
- Bitcoin addresses are not tied to any user.
- Transactions don’t reveal the identity of the users.
- The data transmitted through the network of nodes on the peer-to-peer network uses random node location.
However, it is not truly anonymous, as there are cases when users or nodes can be traced back. You can read, “Is Bitcoin Anonymous?” to understand the intricacies behind the idea of Bitcoin anonymity.
8. BitCoin Mining
Bitcoin mining or cryptocurrency mining is the process of gathering the cryptocurrency from the market. It requires a great monetary investment or commitment when it comes to mining cryptocurrencies. Anyone with a decent understanding of computer can get started with Bitcoin mining.
The first step to get started is to purchase hardware and then setup software required to automate it. If you are curious about it, you can read the complete Bitcoin mining guide to get started.
9. Is it legal to use cryptocurrency?
Cryptocurrency legality is one of the hot topics among the users. In many countries such as Bolivia and Saudi Arabia, using or mining cryptocurrencies are banned and is severely punished. However, major countries don’t have a ban on cryptocurrency, but rather some regulations on how they should be distributed. For example, Israel imposes a tax on every Bitcoin transaction.
So, where does it land you? If you are in a country where Bitcoin is not banned, you might want to read how your government regulates Bitcoin. It is always a good idea to follow the regulations for safe Bitcoin mining and selling.
10. The future of cryptocurrency
The future of cryptocurrency is extremely bright. The market is growing with new cryptocurrencies. Startups are also focusing on taking the advantage and making the most out of the ICO. Also, the fact that cryptocurrencies are universal makes it a part of the bigger picture. However, cryptocurrencies’ anonymity is used for illegal activities such as drugs, child pornography, etc. It is also widely relevant in the dark web, where all of these illegal activities take place.
This brings us to the end of the article. We hope you know more now than when you started reading this article. The sudden rise of cryptography can also be seen as the dot-com bubble. We can only wait and watch. For the general audience, there is not much of a risk. The above information will surely help you to engage well when it comes to Bitcoin trading or mining or even discussing it with someone else.
The rise of cryptocurrencies has also prompted talent developers across the world to create apps or services that facilitates the use of cryptocurrency for users and businesses. For example, Bitcol.io is a service that offers management and analytics for Bitcoin and Altcoin portfolio. It is currently being developed by Alexander U who streams the project development on LiveEdu.
So, let us know what do you think about cryptocurrencies in the comments section.