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What Is Cryptocurrency? Here’s What You Need to Know
Cryptocurrencies let you buy goods and services, or trade them for profit. Here’s more about what cryptocurrency is, how to buy it and how to protect yourself.

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A cryptocurrency (or “crypto”) is a digital currency that can be utilized to buy products and services, but uses an online ledger with strong cryptography to secure online deals. Much of the interest in these uncontrolled currencies is to trade for profit, with speculators at times driving costs skyward.

Here are seven things to inquire about cryptocurrency, and what to watch out for.

1. What is cryptocurrency?

Cryptocurrency is a form of payment that can be exchanged online for products and services. Many companies have released their own currencies, typically called tokens, and these can be traded particularly for the excellent or service that the company supplies. Think of them as you would arcade tokens or gambling establishment chips. You’ll need to exchange genuine currency for the cryptocurrency to access the good or service.

Cryptocurrencies work using a technology called blockchain. Blockchain is a decentralized technology spread throughout lots of computer systems that manages and tape-records transactions. Part of the appeal of this technology is its security.

2. The number of cryptocurrencies are there? What are they worth?

More than 6,700 different cryptocurrencies are traded publicly, according to CoinMarketCap.com, a marketing research website. And cryptocurrencies continue to multiply, raising money through initial 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 total worth of all bitcoins, the most popular digital currency, was pegged at about $421.7 billion. (You can check the existing price to purchase Bitcoin here

3. Why are cryptocurrencies so popular?

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

Advocates see cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin as the currency of the future and are racing to buy them now, probably before they become better Some supporters like the reality that cryptocurrency gets rid of reserve banks from handling the money supply, considering that with time these banks tend to decrease the worth of money by means of inflation Other fans like the technology behind cryptocurrencies, the blockchain, due to the fact that it’s a decentralized processing and recording system and can be more secure than standard payment systems Some speculators like cryptocurrencies since they’re increasing in value and have no interest in the currencies’ long-lasting acceptance as a method to move cash

4. Are cryptocurrencies a good investment?

Cryptocurrencies might go up in worth, but numerous investors see them as mere speculations, not real investments. The factor? Just like real currencies, cryptocurrencies produce no capital, so for you to benefit, somebody has to pay more for the currency than you did.

That’s what’s called “the higher fool” theory of financial investment. Contrast that to a well-managed business, which increases its worth in 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 should be noted that a currency needs stability.” As NerdWallet writers have noted, cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin might not be that safe, and some significant voices in the financial investment community have actually encouraged prospective financiers to steer clear of them. Of particular note, famous investor Warren Buffett compared Bitcoin to paper checks: “It’s a really efficient method of sending money and you can do it anonymously and all that. A check is a method of transmitting money too. Are checks worth a lot of cash? Just because they can transfer cash?” For those who see cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin as the currency of the future, it should be noted that a currency needs stability so that merchants and customers can determine what a fair price is for products. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have been anything however stable through much of their history. For instance, while Bitcoin traded at near $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 once again.

This price volatility develops a quandary. If bitcoins might be worth a lot more in the future, people are less likely to invest and flow them today, making them less viable as a currency. Why spend a bitcoin when it could be worth 3 times the value next year?

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