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What Is Cryptocurrency? Here’s What You Should Know
Cryptocurrencies let you buy items 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 buy products 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 at times driving prices skyward.

Here are 7 things to inquire about cryptocurrency, and what to watch out for.

1. What is cryptocurrency?

Cryptocurrency is a type of payment that can be exchanged online for products and services. Many companies have actually provided their own currencies, typically called tokens, and these can be traded specifically for the great or service that the business offers. Think about them as you would arcade tokens or casino chips. You’ll require to exchange genuine currency for the cryptocurrency to access the great or service.

Cryptocurrencies work using a technology called blockchain. Blockchain is a decentralized innovation spread throughout many computers that manages and tapes deals. Part of the appeal of this technology is its security.

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

More than 6,700 different cryptocurrencies are traded openly, according to CoinMarketCap.com, a market research site. And cryptocurrencies continue to proliferate, raising money through preliminary 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 overall value of all bitcoins, the most popular digital currency, was pegged at about $421.7 billion. (You can check the existing rate to purchase Bitcoin here

3. Why are cryptocurrencies so popular?

Cryptocurrencies attract their fans for a variety of reasons. Here are some of the most popular:

Advocates see cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin as the currency of the future and are racing to purchase them now, probably before they end up being better Some advocates like the fact that cryptocurrency removes central banks from handling the money supply, given that in time these banks tend to lower the worth of cash by means of inflation Other advocates like the technology behind cryptocurrencies, the blockchain, due to the fact that it’s a decentralized processing and recording system and can be more safe and secure than standard payment systems Some speculators like cryptocurrencies since they’re increasing in value and have no interest in the currencies’ long-term approval as a way to move money

4. Are cryptocurrencies a great financial investment?

Cryptocurrencies may go up in value, but numerous investors see them as simple speculations, not real financial investments. The factor? Much like real currencies, cryptocurrencies produce no capital, so for you to profit, somebody has to pay more for the currency than you did.

That’s what’s called “the greater fool” theory of financial investment. Contrast that to a well-managed company, which increases its value in time by growing the success and capital of the operation.

For those who see cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin as the currency of the future, it ought to be kept in mind that a currency needs stability.” As NerdWallet writers have kept in mind, cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin may not be that safe, and some notable voices in the investment neighborhood have actually encouraged prospective investors to avoid them. Of particular note, famous financier Warren Buffett compared Bitcoin to paper checks: “It’s a very reliable way of transferring 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 cash? Just because they can transmit money?” For those who see cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin as the currency of the future, it must be noted that a currency requires stability so that merchants and consumers can determine what a reasonable cost is for goods. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have been anything but stable through much of their history. For example, 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 again.

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

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