• Wandeth Gonzo

What is Cryptocurrency?

Updated: May 15



Cryptocurrencies are digital or virtual currencies underpinned by cryptographic systems. They enable secure online payments without the use of third-party intermediaries. "Crypto" refers to the various encryption algorithms and cryptographic techniques that safeguard these entries, such as elliptical curve encryption, public-private key pairs, and hashing functions.


Cryptocurrencies can be mined or purchased from cryptocurrency exchanges. Not all e-commerce sites allow purchases using cryptocurrencies. In fact, cryptocurrencies, even popular ones like Bitcoin, are hardly used for retail transactions. However, the skyrocketing value of cryptocurrencies has made them popular as trading instruments. To a limited extent, they are also used for cross-border transfers.


Bitcoin is the most popular and valuable cryptocurrency. An anonymous person called Satoshi Nakamoto invented it and introduced it to the world via a white paper in 2008. There are thousands of cryptocurrencies present in the market today.


Each cryptocurrency claims to have a different function and specification. For example, Ethereum's ether markets itself as gas for the underlying smart contract platform. Ripple's XRP is used by banks to facilitate transfers between different geographies.


Bitcoin, which was made available to the public in 2009, remains the most widely traded and covered cryptocurrency. As of November 2021, there were over 18.8 million bitcoins in circulation with a total market cap of around $1.2 trillion. Only 21 million bitcoins will ever exist.


In the wake of Bitcoin's success, many other cryptocurrencies, known as "altcoins," have been launched. Some of these are clones or forks of Bitcoin, while others are new currencies that were built from scratch. They include Solana, Litecoin, Ethereum, Cardano, and EOS. By November 2021, the aggregate value of all the cryptocurrencies in existence had reached over $2.1 trillion—Bitcoin represented approximately 41% of that total value.


How Do You Get Cryptocurrency?

Any investor can purchase cryptocurrency from popular crypto exchanges such as Coinbase, apps such as Cash App, or through brokers. Another popular way to invest in cryptocurrencies is through financial derivatives, such as CME's Bitcoin futures, or through other instruments, such as Bitcoin trusts and Bitcoin ETFs.


What Is the Point of Cryptocurrency?

Cryptocurrencies are a new paradigm for money. Their promise is to streamline existing financial architecture to make it faster and cheaper. Their technology and architecture decentralize existing monetary systems and make it possible for transacting parties to exchange value and money independently of intermediary institutions such as banks.


Can You Generate Cryptocurrency?

Cryptocurrencies are generated by mining. For example, Bitcoin is generated using Bitcoin mining. The process involves downloading software that contains a partial or full history of transactions that have occurred in its network. Though anyone with a computer and an Internet connection can mine cryptocurrency, the energy- and resource-intensive nature of mining means that large firms dominate the industry.


What Are the Most Popular Cryptocurrencies?

Bitcoin is by far the most popular cryptocurrency followed by other cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum, Binance Coin, Solana, and Cardano.


Are Cryptocurrencies Securities?

The SEC has said that Bitcoin and Ethereum, the top two cryptocurrencies by market cap, are not securities. It has not commented on the status of other cryptocurrencies.



Resource for Cryptocurrency Video:


1. https://www.investopedia.com/terms/c/cryptocurrency.asp



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