Tag Archives: Bitcoin

Best Cryptocurrencies to Invest in 2021

Bitcoin (BTC)

Theories on Bitcoin’s utility differ, but there’s no denying that it’s been the dominant player in its field since its creation. Bitcoin’s growing adoption is its saving grace; both retail and institutional investors are primed to dip their toes into cryptocurrencies with Bitcoin first. Plus, some of today’s smartest business minds are increasingly gravitating toward the “digital gold.” Although Bitcoin’s price lost more than half within two months of hitting all-time highs of about $65,000. Bitcoin on its balance sheet earlier this year could serve to usher in more corporate treasury inflows over time.

Ethereum (ETH)

Next to Bitcoin, Ethereum is the second-largest cryptocurrency. It was launched in 2015 with just a supply of 72 million coins. Since last year, Ethereum has seen a 946.8% increase, and the new launches on its network are exciting market experts and experienced investors.

Tether (USDT)

Unlike some other forms of cryptocurrency, Tether is a stablecoin, meaning it’s backed by fiat currencies like U.S. dollars and the Euro and hypothetically keeps a value equal to one of those denominations. In theory, this means Tether’s value is supposed to be more consistent than other cryptocurrencies, and it’s favored by investors who are wary of the extreme volatility of other coins.

Litecoin (LTC)

Litecoin is one of the most valuable cryptos in the industry, with a market cap of over $9.2 billion. It was created through a fork in the Bitcoin blockchain and is one of the oldest cryptos in the market. It has gained an incredible 215% in the past 12 months. However, it has stumbled quite a bit of late. In the past week, though, LTC has shown signs of a rebound, which indicates a reversal of its fortunes.

Similar to BTC, LTC is open-sourced and highly decentralized. Additionally, it is also quicker than BTC, as it takes only 2.5 minutes per transaction, rather than nine minutes. Its transactions are also at least 40% cheaper than Bitcoin.

Binance Coin (BNB)

Binance Coin is a utility cryptocurrency that operates as a payment method for the fees associated with trading on the Binance Exchange. Those who use the token as a means of payment for the exchange can trade at a discount. Binance Coin’s blockchain is also the platform that Binance’s decentralized exchange operates on. 

Binance Coin was initially an ERC-20 token that operated on the Ethereum blockchain. It eventually had its own main net launch. The network uses a proof-of-stake consensus model. As of January 2021, Binance has a $6.8 billion market capitalization with one BNB having a value of $44.26.

Dogecoin

For any cryptocurrency to survive over the long run, it needs to have a real-world purpose. Dogecoin, though, doesn’t have much of competitive advantage in the industry.

The vast majority of merchants do not currently accept Dogecoin as a form of payment, and there are several other cryptocurrencies with lower transaction fees than Dogecoin. The primary reason its price has exploded over the past several months is that it gained a large fan following. But once those investors inevitably move on to something new, Dogecoin’s price will plummet.

Cardano (ADA)

Because of its flexible network and fast transactions, Cardano is expected to remain one of the most popular cryptocurrencies. Scalability, interoperability, and sustainability are among its chief selling points. The recent update finally brought the ability to build smart contracts on Cardano’s network. Cardano has always been a venture that takes its time and accomplishes things gradually.

VeChain 

If you’re looking for a cheap digital coin to invest in, then VeChain may be the best answer for you. The VeChain currency is based on the VeChain Thor Blockchain. It’s a blockchain specifically designed for handling supply chain management and various business processes with the help of distributed ledgers. 

What is a bitcoin loan and how does it work? – Pros & Cons

What is a Bitcoin Loan?

Bitcoin loans are pretty much like any other loan where you can borrow specific amounts from a lender and pay them at certain interest rates. The only difference is that in this type of loan, cryptocurrencies serve as your collateral or the item or asset used to secure the loan. 

The rapidly changing value of Bitcoin is the clear reason why it isn’t easy to just borrow Bitcoin from someone you know. In cases like this, the lender and borrower need reassurance that the requirements from both parties can and will be met. So if you want to either borrow or lend crypto securely and reliably, exploring crypto or Bitcoin lending platforms might be the most appropriate solution for you. 

How does Bitcoin lending work?

A bitcoin-backed loan uses digital currency as collateral, similar to a securities-based loan. The basic principle works like a mortgage loan or auto loan — you pledge your crypto assets to obtain the loan and pay it off over time. You can get this type of loan through a crypto exchange or crypto lending platform.

While you retain ownership of the crypto you’ve used as collateral, you lose some rights, such as the ability to trade it or use it to make transactions. Also, if the value of your digital assets drops significantly, you may end up owing back much more than you borrowed should you default on the loan.

People may consider crypto loans because of the benefits they provide and because they have no intention to trade or use their crypto assets shortly. The acronym HODL, which stands for hold on for dear life, is a common refrain in crypto-focused online forums.

Advantages & Disadvantages

ProsCons
Bitcoin lending involves borderless online transactions and it is one of the pioneering cryptocurrencies to be accepted in almost every part of the world.Bitcoin lending faces tough competition from other emerging crypto lending services.
Bitcoin runs on a decentralized blockchain and is not controlled by any central authority. Due to its decentralized nature, BTC assets are not vulnerable to the governance-based manipulation of political bodies, banks, and other financial institutions. Bitcoin lending faces issues due to the infamous volatility of BTC prices. If the price drops dramatically to an all-time low, the Bitcoin lending platform faces complications in serving its lenders and borrowers. Therefore, this unpredictable price swing makes Bitcoin lending risky for investors. 

How do you get a Bitcoin loan?

To get a Bitcoin loan, one can browse through multiple Bitcoin loan sites. These websites are the Bitcoin lending platforms that can provide instant Bitcoin loans to their users. In these platforms, the process of lending Bitcoin in the form of cash loans is simplified in many ways. This is done to make Bitcoin loans more accessible for the greater public. By following these steps, one can get a Bitcoin loan without losing time on traditional loan procedures.

Step 1 – Select a Bitcoin lending platform
Step 2 – Create a user account by verifying the trust score and cryptocurrency support
Step 3 – Select the type of Bitcoin loan based on the collateral requirement, interest rate, DeFi/CeFi, etc
Step 4 – Submit the loan application or accept the loan offer and get the loan in a few hours after the borrower accepts the loan terms

Important things required for Bitcoin loan application

  • Proof of being a registered user of the lending platform
  • Documented proof of age (18+ years)
  • Digital verification of email and phone number
  • Documented proof of Bitcoin holdings (crypto wallet, crypto exchange, etc.)

Applying for Bitcoin loans is easier for registered users of crypto lending platforms. Moreover, it is easy for registered users of leading cryptocurrency exchanges such as Binance. Such users have enough verified data to prove their identity during the application. While borrowing crypto loans, it is equally important to check the cryptocurrencies and the fiat currencies supported by the Bitcoin lending platform.

Bottom line

With all the things we’ve discussed so far, you’re probably thinking about whether trying your hands on crypto loans is a good idea or not. So here are other key points you might want to look into to help you come to a decision.

If you’re a newbie in the crypto space and want to have fractions of BTC by not taking the trading route, you can opt to borrow Bitcoin to get started. Sending and receiving money through cryptos is much cheaper and faster than with many banks and other third-party financial institutions. 

A way to play Bitcoin Games in 2021

Cryptocurrency has become a global phenomenon in recent years. Various industries are benefiting from the convenience of cryptocurrency, and one of those industries is online gaming.

As per a report by Wax, around 75% of online game players want to exchange their virtual assets for a currency that they could use to buy and sell on other platforms.

Cryptocurrencies enable players to collect and trade in virtual assets, which they can exchange and trade across anywhere in the world. Hence, it offers the gaming industry a safe and easy medium to make money.

Online games are adopting cryptocurrency to solve problems related to transactions and frauds that players encounter while playing online games.

Some of the benefits are streamlined payments, the real ownership of players, the decentralization of payments, and cross-game compatibility.

Let’s have a look at some of the benefits of using cryptocurrency in online games.

1.Instant Transaction
2.Ability to Play Anywhere
3.Safe and Secure
4.More for Your Money
5.Hide Your Identity

A way to play Bitcoin Games

The easiest way to play Bitcoin video games is to just sign up for a Bitcoin online casino. This could give you access to loads and heaps of crypto gambling games. One of the best Bitcoin casinos obtainable for playing novices takes place to be mBit. Whilst you go to their website, you may be caused to check in your account by means of entering your email identification and password, observed by depositing your selected amount of Bitcoin.

After that, you’ll see the subsequent web page, this page will display you two things:

1. First of all, you will be able to see your bitcoin balance. In case you need to feature in your bitcoin balance, then you have the option to replicate the public deal with or use the QR code to send Bitcoins.

2. Secondly, you’ll see the bitcoin bonuses that the casinos are presenting to you. Always keep a watch out for those bonuses. Some of those bitcoin bonuses can upload up and grow to be honestly rewarding.

Do I need to Deposit Bitcoin to Play Games?

In a maximum of the actual Bitcoin casinos, you will need to deposit some BTC into your playing account in advance. However, a few casinos like mBit offer a “No Deposit” bonus for Bitcoin gamers. A no deposit bonus can be the concept of a small preview of the Bitcoin casino. The Bitcoin casino offers a loose bonus for your account, on the way to assist you to play some of the extra popular bitcoin-earning video games. In quick, it gives you a quick tour of the Bitcoin casino playing enjoy.

In different phrases, there are some bitcoin casinos, wherein you could absolutely play without gambling any of your cash! The mBit online casino will come up with 50 free spins on the slot video games just for registering your gambling account.

Regardless, as soon as the registration is complete, you’ll in the end get to peer the host of bitcoin video games online in the Bitcoin online casino. From right here you could get started out winning bitcoins playing the satisfactory crypto games available.

Popular Bitcoin Games in 2021

As already said, there are plenty of bitcoin games that you could play at Bitcoin gambling websites. A number of those video games are extra popular than the opposite. In this phase, allow’s do a rundown of some of those popular Bitcoin-playing video games.

Bitcoin Cube

One of the most famous video games in the Bitcoin gaming world and the one that is most synonymous with crypto playing and Bitcoin. Bitcoin cube is incredibly easy and normal searching. You just need to wager that a roll of the cube will be lower or higher than your predetermined factor. If you bet correctly, then you’ll win a prize based on the chance of the guess being right. But, it’s far exactly because of its simplicity that it has turned out to be so popular.

Apart from its innate simplicity, Bitcoin dice games also provide a completely aggressive residence area. Almost all Bitcoin dice websites will offer a residence fringe of 1% or much less, while it is not unusual to find a house facet as low as zero.5%. In conjunction with the residence side, any other benefit takes place to be its velocity. Every single sport of cube is fantastically quick. You’ll be able to get through several rolls of dice per minute, making it an exciting experience.

Bitcoin Blackjack

Blackjack is one of the maximum popular crypto gambling video games available in both Bitcoin and widespread casinos. Popular versions of the sport available in bitcoin casinos encompass Double exposure, Multihand Blackjack, and Pontoon. In case you get toward 21 than your dealer, you’ll have the danger to win a prize. Many experienced gamers have advocated that learners who’re starting out inside the blackjack having a bet world must begin with bitcoin blackjack. The purpose being, the software program used makes the intricacies of the game easy.

Bitcoin blackjack capabilities 

The player makes a guess via choosing how much money they want to place handy. Maximum having a bet option will be among $1-$100. The fingers could be dealt with as soon as the stakes have been set.

As soon as a Bitcoin participant has visible their hand, they’ll have the option to Hit, Stand, or Double Down. If the Bitcoin participant’s hand consists of a couple, then a “split” option is likewise viable.

A unique function of Bitcoin blackjack is that there’s no limit to the number of card decks that may be used in this Bitcoin recreation.

Bitcoin blackjack is taken into consideration very participant-friendly since the house facet provided is regularly less than 1%. However, Bitcoin players ought to say that the greater decks of playing cards you upload into your play, the higher your own home aspect will become.

Coinbase Overview – Pros & Cons, Security, and Fees

Coinbase is one of the biggest cryptocurrency companies around, supporting over 100 countries, with more than 30 million customers around the world.

Coinbase has a wide array of services but their main service allows users to buy and sell Bitcoins through a bank account, credit card, and debit card. The rates you’ll get on Coinbase are fair in general, however, the customer support is terrible.

Overview 

Coinbase first came into existence in San Fransisco, California, the USA, in the year 2012. Coinbase still has its headquarters in San Fransisco. However, now it has offices in multiple cities all across the US. Coinbase has started out only as a Bitcoin brokerage service (selling Bitcoins directly to customers), but additional services were added along the way. Coinbase is fully regulated and licensed. The company has raised over $540m from leading investors such as Andreessen Horowitz, Rabbit Capital, and The NYSE.

Services

Coinbase brokerage

The main service Coinbase offers is a brokerage service for buying and selling cryptocurrencies. On the downside, one of the main complaints users have towards Coinbase is the lack of control of users over their own funds. When you open a Coinbase account you don’t have direct access to your coins and you don’t get any private key or a seed phrase. Coinbase stores your coins for you – it’s the equivalent of putting your cash at the bank, you don’t own it, the bank does.

Coinbase Pro

Coinbase Pro is a cryptocurrency trading platform. As opposed to the traditional Coinbase brokerage service, which simplifies buying cryptocurrencies at a premium, Coinbase pro is aimed at more experienced users. Coinbase pro allows users to trade several cryptocurrencies including BTC, ETH, LTC, BCH, and ZRX. Fees are considerably lower than the brokerage service and there are advanced trading options as well.

Wallet 

In 2018 Coinbase launched their independent mobile wallet for iOS and Android. The wallet stores the private keys on the user’s device and only they have access to the funds. This brings Coinbase full circle as it started out as a wallet, transitioned to an exchange only (claiming that they are not a wallet) and now they are offering wallet services again.

Fees

Coinbase has an incredibly convoluted fee system that is also quite expensive if you are not using Coinbase Pro. The cost of trading on Coinbase’s standard platform is quite high in comparison to its competitors.

Buying Limits

Once your Coinbase account is set up you will be able to buy a small amount of Bitcoins until you raise your limit. In order to raise your limits you will need to do the following:

  • Provide and verify your phone number
  • Provide and verify your personal information
  • Provide and verify your photo id

If you are a fully verified US resident you can reach the highest limit which is currently $25K a day. Limits may also be set depending on the payment method you choose to buy the cryptocurrencies. For example, ACH transfer has higher limits than credit card purchases on Coinbase.

How safe is coinbase?

Coinbase uses premium security features, and all you need to do is maintain the security from your side. Coinbase offers biometric security, two-step verification, and insurance in case there is a breach at coinbase. However, this insurance is not valid if you perform any act of carelessness.

Pros and Cons

A solid variety of altcoin choicesHigh fees when not using Coinbase Pro
Extremely simple user interfaceThe user does not control wallet keys
Very high liquidityMay not have as many altcoins as some other exchanges

Bottom line

Coinbase is an ideal tool for new crypto investors who may not have any other investment experience. While the standard platform is overpriced, its features, like its learning to program and the ability to easily set up recurring purchases, provide the inexperienced with a clear path to becoming invested and actually understanding cryptocurrency.

Those with more trading experience will find that Coinbase Pro is a cheaper and more robust option, but it is still lacking in terms of features. If you wish to trade seriously, you may find that Coinbase is not the right fit for you. Overall, Coinbase is designed with the beginner in mind.

Crypto Mining VS Crypto Validating – Beginner’s Guide

Blockchain technology is a strong network designed to assure that digital currencies remain stable and serve their inception purpose. Learning about blockchain and cryptographic processes is quite interesting to technology fans and beginner investors.

Generally, cryptocurrencies are released in the blockchain through a process called mining. Although mining adds the blocks onto the chains, a preceding process called validation streamlines everything for mining. Let us understand everything about validation and mining.

What is Crypto Validation?

Crypto validation is where transactions and blocks in a blockchain are authenticated and verified. A block validator looks into the details of specific transactions in a blockchain, determines their authenticity, and merges it with others to form a block.

The validator gets a notification of upcoming transactions, works to verify and approve; among the issues that a validator checks include the legality and accuracy of each transaction. Checking for double-spending is also another vital issue that a validator focuses on.

What is Crypto Mining?

It’s the process where consensus algorithms are used in the blockchain to accept a particular validator’s block. Today, there are two types of consensus used, i.e., proof of work and proof of stake.

Proof of work (POW) requires parties called miners to solve some complex computations for their work to be added to the blockchain. The person who solves the computation first gets their block posted.

When it comes to proof of stake (POS), investors hold some amount of particular crypto assets during the validation process and get a share of the reward.

Difference Between Validation and Mining

ValidatingMining
Complexity The difficulty level in Validating is relatively lowThe difficulty level in mining is relatively high when compared to Validating
CostCosts in the validating part are lower than the mining sectionCost is high because the process of mining uses large amounts of power and high processor computers.
Transaction Crypto validation begins when users send transactions through the blockchainMining focuses on posting the block onto the distributed ledger.
RewardingValidators’ work only ends after the mining process ends. The income earned after the mining process comes in the form of coins released.A miner will only receive the rewards after the mining process ends and his block has been chosen and added to the chain.

Proof Of Work

As a beginner, you may be excited about joining the mining or validation process; therefore, you need to be ready to complete the whole validation plus mining process. It requires vast amounts of electricity and some super-performing computers for successful block release.

However, lately, some crypto projects have been introducing options that ease the mining process by providing cloud-based computing machines. Leveraging cloud mining platforms will help ensure that you earn better rewards at a way lower cost.

Proof Of Stake

If you leverage a platform that uses proof of stake mechanisms, just run your master node and stake some amount of crypto. The stakers will hold some amount of crypto assets against the validation process. In POS, the amount of rewards depends on the stake value and length of stake.

Bottom line

Crypto validation focuses more on the transaction introduced in the blockchain, while mining works on blocks of transactions, including adding them to the blockchain. However, although there are many differences, the processes are complementary to each other. The twosome processes are vital to secure the blockchain and release new coins. A crypto beginner interested in either mining or validating should be ready for the entire process.

What is Litecoin? – Difference between bitcoin and litecoin

What Is Litecoin?

Litecoin is a decentralized, open-source, peer-to-peer, and fully global payment network where transactions are conducted in litecoins or LTC units. Litecoin is an alternative for bitcoin Launched in 2011 that was created using the same basic structure as Bitcoin. The brain behind the creation of Litecoin is that of Charlie Lee, MIT graduate, an ex-Google engineer.

Charlie’s initial goal behind the launch of Litecoin was to offer an improvement where Bitcoin fell short and make it up to be ‘the silver to Bitcoin’s gold.’ Based on market capitalization, Litecoin has remained among the top 10 performing cryptocurrencies ever since its inception.

Main Features of Litecoin

  • Litecoin shares Bitcoin’s open-source codebase structure, with only a few differences.
  • Litecoin is not backed by any government or centralized financial institutes. 
  • Litecoins are created through a procedure named mining, where the Litecoin network is spread across a wide pool of entities dubbed miners. 
  • Miners are responsible for recording all data related to transactions made over the Litecoin network into blocks. These blocks then get arranged in an orderly fashion on the blockchain so that the most recent blocks are added at the end of a chain.
  • Since there is only one blockchain that all miners can access, the miners have to go through a tedious process to create a new block to maintain maximum security and avoid any manipulation of the stored data altogether. 
  • To create a legit block, a miner needs to encrypt it with a unique cryptographic hash, abiding by several rules. 
  • Once the created block passes scrutiny by mining software, it’s made visible to all miners. The miner who creates the block gets awarded with 12.5 litecoins.   
  • A new block is produced and added to the chain every 2.5 minutes.
  • Cryptocurrencies typically have a fixed number of coins in circulation, as opposed to the infinite supply of traditional currencies. 
  • When a cryptocurrency becomes quite popular, the undersupply causes its value to go up. Similarly, with Litecoin, there will only ever be 84 million litecoins available for mining.

Difference between Litecoin and Bitcoin

BitcoinLitecoin
Coin Limit21 million 84 million 
Block Generation TimeEach block takes 10 minutes to generate.Each block takes 2.5 minutes to generate.
AlgorithmSHA-256Scrypt
Market Capitalization$237.23 billion$3.627 billion
Reward at Inception50 BTC/block50 LTC/block
Current Block Reward6.25 BTC/block12.5 LTC/block

Litecoin’s Blockchain

The Litecoin blockchain is capable of handling higher transaction volume than its counterpart – Bitcoin. Due to more frequent block generation, the network supports more transactions without a need to modify the software in the future.

As a result, merchants get faster confirmation times, while still having the ability to wait for more confirmations when selling bigger ticket items.

Litecoin has so much scope for growth, potential uses, and wide adoption. Right now, we must observe which companies begin adopting it and accepting transactions for their products and services. Other than that, the future of Litecoin is anyone’s guess.

How to Buy Litecoin

Litecoin is purchased through cryptocurrency exchanges the way any other crypto would be bought. However, even though there’s a larger circulating supply of LTC than BTC, you’re not guaranteed that most exchanges will have Litecoins available for purchase or trade like you may be with Bitcoin. 

Litecoin can be bought directly through an exchange marketplace, or converted from digital currencies in cryptocurrency conversion services. 

Create your account at your chosen exchange. You’ll need to provide a valid email address for verification and create a strong password. Put in the payment information you plan on using. This can be a checking account or your credit/debit card information.

Specify Litecoin (LTC) as the crypto you wish to buy, and then the amount of money you want to spend on it. When you buy your LTC it’s good to store it in a wallet.

What is Ethereum ? – Practical uses of Ethereum

Ethereum is a blockchain platform with its own cryptocurrency, called Ether (ETH) or Ethereum. It is open access to digital money and data-friendly services for everyone – no matter your background or location. It’s a community-built technology behind the cryptocurrency ether (ETH).

What’s an Ethereum wallet?

Ethereum wallets are applications that let you interact with your Ethereum account. Think of it as an internet banking app – without the bank. Your wallet lets you read your balance, send transactions, and connect to applications. You need a wallet to send funds and manage your ETH.

Your wallet is only a tool for managing your Ethereum account. That means you can swap wallet providers at any time. Many wallets also let you manage several Ethereum accounts from one application.

Types of wallet

  • Physical hardware wallets that let you keep your crypto offline – very secure.
  • Mobile applications that make your funds accessible from anywhere
  • Web wallets that let you interact with your account via a web browser
  • Desktop applications if you prefer to manage your funds via macOS, Windows, or Linux.

Practical uses

Ethereum allows you to move money, or make agreements, directly with someone else. You don’t need to go through intermediary companies.

Here are 5 practical uses of Ethereum:

1. It can be used in the healthcare system to securely store and share patient information.
2. Smart contracts can be used to make risk-free, direct transactions.
3. It can be used to improve the current election polling system by making it more transparent and secure.
4. It can be used as a decentralized data storage facility.
5. It can be used to build decentralized apps (DAPPS).

Interesting Facts

Here are 3 interesting facts about Ethereum:

1. Programmers of Ethereum created a custom programming language called ‘Solidity’.
2. Unlike other cryptocurrencies, Ethereum’s currency ‘Ether’ doesn’t have a maximum number of coins. This makes it an inflationary currency.
3. Ether mining was originally based on the Proof-of-Work mining principle, but developers have since planned to switch over to Proof-of-Stake in the future.

Criticisms 

Ethereum faces the same criticisms that all cryptocurrency platforms face:

  • Cryptocurrencies may or may not be a bubble about to burst (again). This debate has been going on since at least 2017, a year during which Bitcoin’s value seesawed between about $20,000 and about $3,000.
  • Each of these networks is eating up a vast amount of energy. Cryptocurrency miners, in particular, are devoting a huge amount of computing power to the process of validating transactions. 

Is Ethereum Better Than Bitcoin?

Unlike the Bitcoin blockchain, the Etherium blockchain was not created to support a cryptocurrency. The Ether cryptocurrency was created to provide an in-house currency for applications built on the Etherium blockchain.

In other words, Etherium has wider ambitions. It wants to be a platform for all kinds of applications that can store information safely.

Despite their differences, the two are the creators of virtual currencies that have become rivals in the investing world. And virtual currencies are just that: They are coins that have no physical existence but are represented by a string of code that can be exchanged at a price agreed upon by a buyer and a seller.

Bitcoin Basics For Beginners

What are bitcoins?

Bitcoins are decentralized, purely digital virtual coins exchanged directly between two parties online with no middle man. Unlike modern fiat money, Bitcoin, is not controlled or backed by any bank or central government authority.

Are bitcoins anonymous and untraceable?

No, contrary to popular belief, they aren’t. A traceable trail of each Bitcoin transaction is left behind in a public log known as the blockchain. The public record prevents people from spending the same bitcoins more than once.

How does Bitcoin work?

Each bitcoin is a computer file stored in a digital wallet on a computer or smartphone. To understand how the cryptocurrency works, it helps to understand these terms and a little context:

  • Blockchain: Bitcoin is powered by open-source code known as the blockchain, which creates a shared public ledger. Each transaction is a “block” that is “chained” to the code, creating a permanent record of each transaction. Blockchain technology is at the heart of more than 10,000 cryptocurrencies that have followed in Bitcoin’s wake.
  • Private and public keys: A bitcoin wallet contains a public key and a private key, which work together to allow the owner to initiate and digitally sign transactions, providing proof of authorization.
  • Bitcoin miners: Miners — or members of the peer-to-peer platform — then independently confirm the transaction using high-speed computers, typically within 10 to 20 minutes. Miners are paid in bitcoin for their efforts.

Bitcoin value follows the law of supply and demand — and because demand waxes and wanes, there’s a lot of volatility in the cryptocurrency’s price.

Besides mining bitcoin, which requires technical expertise and investment in high-performance computers, most people purchase bitcoins as a form of currency speculation — betting that the U.S. dollar value of one bitcoin will be higher in the future than it is today. But that’s difficult to predict.

How to store the Bitcoin?

Bitcoins can be stored in two kinds of digital wallets:

  • Hot wallet: Digital currency is stored in the cloud on a trusted exchange or provider, and accessed through a computer browser, desktop, or smartphone app.
  • Cold wallet: An encrypted portable device much like a thumb drive that allows you to download and carry your bitcoins.

Basically, a hot wallet is connected to the internet; a cold wallet is not. But you need a hot wallet to download bitcoins into a portable cold wallet.

How bitcoins are purchased?

There are four ways to get bitcoins:

  • Cryptocurrency exchanges – There are a number of exchanges in the U.S. and abroad. Coinbase is the largest cryptocurrency exchange trading more than 30 cryptocurrencies.
  • Investment brokerages – Robinhood was the first mainstream investment broker to offer Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies (Robinhood Crypto is available in most, but not all, U.S. states). Tradestation, eToro, and Sofi Active Investing also offering cryptocurrency trading in most U.S. states.
  • Bitcoin ATMs – There are more than 7,000 bitcoin ATMs in the U.S. 
  • Peer-to-peer purchases – True to its original spirit, you can buy bitcoins directly from other bitcoin owners through peer-to-peer tools like Bisq, Bitquick, and LocalBitcoins.com.
  • Bitcoin mining – You can earn bitcoins through mining, but the technical expertise required and computer cost put this option out of reach for most.

Which companies accept Bitcoin payments?

Thousands of businesses throughout the world currently accept Bitcoin as a form of payment, including reputable e-commerce businesses like:


Burger King
Overstock
Microsoft
Subway
AT&T
KFC

Bitcoin is an incredibly speculative and volatile buy. It’s worth remembering that stock trading can give you a similar thrill — and picking stocks of established companies is generally less risky than investing in Bitcoin. 

About Decentralized Finance & Digital Gold – Cryptocurrency

Decentralized finance refers to financial activities conducted without the involvement of a traditional bank. Think about all of the activities in which you’d normally use a bank or some other financial institution — getting a loan, insurance, investing, even using a credit card. All of these activities are traditional-finance-based and have intermediary companies. Now people are creating these products in a completely autonomous way with cryptocurrencies.

It can seem counterintuitive — where else would you go for a loan, if not an established lender? But that’s one of the appeals to DeFi (Decentralized Finance). In the same way, people have increasingly brought smart technology into their homes, proponents say the cryptocurrency has the potential to automate and digitize more and more aspects of the financial system. The appeal of this happening outside the conventional — or centralized — finance system depends on who you ask. 

Many peoples may not understand the appeal of a finance system that operates beyond government control. But things can be very different in countries with less financial stability. If cryptocurrencies offer as much or more stability as a given national currency, it’s an entirely different equation than if your national currency is safe and stable.

There are different types of accounts and tools in conventional finance — from savings accounts to investment accounts to credit cards — that are used for different purposes, different cryptocurrencies can have similarly unique uses in this emerging decentralized finance system.

Instead of going to a bank to draw out a loan, you might go to a decentralized application that’s not owned or operated by anyone in particular.

Where conventional loans involve humans at a bank who take part in the processing, reviewing, and approving loans, a DeFi loan — with funding in the form of cryptocurrency — could run via an app on a network like Ethereum with an algorithm processing it. The borrower would put up some cryptocurrency as collateral, which they’d get back minus interest when they repay the loan.

The code runs autonomously using smart contracts. So once the developers release the data they’re pretty much hands-off, and everything runs automatically so there’s no intermediary.

Ethereum’s website offers a comparison chart contrasting decentralized from traditional finance. Along with these technical differences, a big consideration to keep in mind is that the conventional financial system is regulated to serve the interests of everyday customers, while cryptocurrency and decentralized financial systems are largely unregulated, and subject to governance and oversight only by their creators/users.

Unlike the money kept in a bank account, the money you have in crypto may not be FDIC insured. Some exchanges offer this insurance while others don’t — something you’ll want to look into before buying crypto from one or another. For exchanges that don’t offer this insurance, there’s no guarantee you will be repaid if there is a hack or the exchange goes out of business.

Decentralized FinanceTraditional Finance 
You hold your moneyMoney held by financial institutions 
Transfers happen in minutesPayments can take days to process
Transactions are pseudonymous Financial activity is coupled to your identity
Market is always openMarket closes 
Built on transparency – anyone can inspect the systemFinancial institutions are closed books

Digital Gold

Digital gold refers to cryptocurrency comparable to the real gold in its ability to store and increase in value. There’s a limited amount of gold on earth, in the same way, that digital gold cryptocurrencies have a limited supply. 

People buy gold not because they expect to be able to go to the store and spend it, but because they expect it to hold its value and maybe probably, increase in value over time.

The primary example of a digital gold cryptocurrency is Bitcoin, though that was not its original intention. Bitcoin was originally put forth as an electronic peer-to-peer cash system, but its volatility, among other things, limited its potential for that purpose. 

In use, such digital gold cryptocurrencies are bought and held for the same reason people would have diamonds, or some $100 bills, or some gold coins in a safe. Lite coin is another example — it’s been described as silver to Bitcoin’s gold.

What Is Cryptocurrency and why it is so popular?

A cryptocurrency is a form of payment that can be exchanged online for goods and services. It’s a peer-to-peer system that can enable anyone anywhere to send and receive payments. Instead of being physical money that is carried around and exchanged in the real world, cryptocurrency payments exist purely as digital entries to an online database that describe specific transactions. Cryptocurrencies work using a technology called a blockchain. Blockchain is a decentralized technology spread across many computers that manage and records transactions. 

Cryptocurrency got its name because it uses encryption to verify transactions. This means advanced coding is involved in storing and transmitting cryptocurrency data between wallets and to public ledgers. Encryption aims to provide security and safety.

Is cryptocurrency real money?

Cryptocurrencies are an alternative to traditional money. Today, some outlets accept cryptocurrencies as a form of payment. However, they bear little resemblance to other asset classes because they are intangible and extremely volatile. They are mainly used by traders for speculating on rises and falls in value.

How many cryptocurrencies are there?

There are over 2000 cryptocurrencies available to buy and sell, though most have little value. Of these, bitcoin, ether (the token of the Ethereum network), ripple, bitcoin cash (an offshoot of bitcoin), and litecoin are among the most valuable by market capitalization.

Why it is so popular?

Cryptocurrencies appeal to their supporters for a variety of reasons. Here are some of the most popular:

1. Supporters see cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin as the currency of the future and are racing to buy them now, presumably before they become more valuable.

2. Some supporters like the fact that cryptocurrency removes central banks from managing the money supply since over time these banks tend to reduce the value of money via inflation.

3. Other supporters like the technology behind cryptocurrencies, the blockchain, because it’s a decentralized processing and recording system and can be more secure than traditional payment systems.

4. Some speculators like cryptocurrencies because they’re going up in value and have no interest in the currencies’ long-term acceptance as a way to move money.

Regulation

The fact that the cryptocurrency market is not regulated has both – brighter side and a darker side. For those willing to invest massively without having to deal with any obstacle whatsoever, it is an advantage. Those unwilling to take risks need to extra cautious of not investing money that they aren’t willing to lose. A nicely laid out plan as to how should cryptocurrencies be classified and a clear regulation would make it easy to predict the future.

Uses 

1. Though cryptocurrencies can be used to make purchases, what is worth noting is that they are not yet widely accepted among retailers and other businesses.

2. Some look at cryptocurrencies from an investment point of view. People invest in them hoping that the future would see an increase in value. However, what needs to be understood here is that the demand cycle is just unpredictable. So, assuming that the future would give a higher return on investment might sound vague for many.

Future

With an exponential increase in the number of people becoming aware of cryptocurrencies, it is evident that the future would see huge investments in the same. That said, it is always better to have a fair idea pertaining to the volatility and risk factors of cryptocurrency before investing. 

Ultimately, the future of cryptocurrencies — their value, security, and staying power — is still up in the air. But the experts spoke to believe owning some crypto could create value over time. Whatever your interest or motivation, experts stress the importance of making sure you understand the unique volatility and risk factors of cryptocurrency before investing.

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