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What Is Cryptocurrency? Here’s What You Should Know
Cryptocurrencies let you purchase products 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 used to purchase goods and services, but uses an online journal with strong cryptography to protect online transactions. Much of the interest in these uncontrolled currencies is to trade for profit, with speculators sometimes driving rates skyward.

Here are 7 things to inquire about cryptocurrency, and what to keep an eye out for.

1. What is cryptocurrency?

Cryptocurrency is a type of payment that can be exchanged online for items and services. Numerous companies have issued their own currencies, frequently called tokens, and these can be traded particularly for the great or service that the business supplies. Think about them as you would arcade tokens or casino chips. You’ll need to exchange real currency for the cryptocurrency to access the good or service.

Cryptocurrencies work using a technology called blockchain. Blockchain is a decentralized technology spread across lots of computers that manages and records deals. Part of the appeal of this technology is its security.

2. How many cryptocurrencies are there? What are they worth?

More than 6,700 different cryptocurrencies are traded openly, according to CoinMarketCap.com, a market research website. And cryptocurrencies continue to multiply, raising money through initial coin offerings, or ICOs. The overall worth 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 present price to buy Bitcoin here

3. Why are cryptocurrencies so popular?

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

Fans see cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin as the currency of the future and are racing to buy them now, most likely prior to they become better Some advocates like the fact that cryptocurrency eliminates reserve banks from managing the cash supply, because gradually these banks tend to lower the worth of cash through inflation Other supporters like the innovation behind cryptocurrencies, the blockchain, since it’s a decentralized processing and recording system and can be more protected than traditional payment systems Some speculators like cryptocurrencies because they’re going up in worth and have no interest in the currencies’ long-term approval as a way to move money

4. Are cryptocurrencies a good investment?

Cryptocurrencies may increase in value, but numerous financiers see them as simple speculations, not real financial investments. The factor? Similar to real currencies, cryptocurrencies produce no cash flow, so for you to benefit, somebody has to pay more for the currency than you did.

That’s what’s called “the greater fool” theory of investment. Contrast that to a well-managed service, which increases its worth gradually by growing the profitability and cash flow of the operation.

For those who see cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin as the currency of the future, it should be kept in mind that a currency needs stability.” As NerdWallet writers have noted, cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin might not be that safe, and some notable voices in the financial investment neighborhood have encouraged potential financiers to stay away from them. Of specific note, famous investor Warren Buffett compared Bitcoin to paper checks: “It’s an extremely effective way of transmitting cash and you can do it anonymously and all that. A check is a way of transferring cash too. Are checks worth a lot of money? Just because they can transfer cash?” For those who see cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin as the currency of the future, it needs to be kept in mind that a currency requires stability so that merchants and customers can determine what a fair cost is for goods. 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. By December 2020, it was trading at record levels once again.

This rate volatility creates a dilemma. If bitcoins might be worth a lot more in the future, people are less likely to invest and distribute them today, making them less feasible as a currency. Why invest a bitcoin when it could be worth 3 times the worth next year?

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