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What Is Cryptocurrency? Here’s What You Must Know
Cryptocurrencies let you buy 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, however utilizes 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 costs skyward.

Here are 7 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 items and services. Numerous companies have actually issued their own currencies, frequently called tokens, and these can be traded specifically for the good or service that the business supplies. Think about them as you would arcade tokens or casino chips. You’ll need 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 numerous computer systems that handles and records deals. Part of the appeal of this innovation is its security.

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

More than 6,700 various 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 inspect the existing price to buy Bitcoin here

3. Why are cryptocurrencies so popular?

Cryptocurrencies attract their supporters for a variety 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 purchase them now, presumably before they become more valuable Some advocates like the reality that cryptocurrency eliminates reserve banks from managing the cash supply, since in time these banks tend to minimize the value of money through inflation Other advocates like the technology behind cryptocurrencies, the blockchain, because it’s a decentralized processing and recording system and can be more protected than standard payment systems Some speculators like cryptocurrencies because they’re increasing in value and have no interest in the currencies’ long-term acceptance as a method to move money

4. Are cryptocurrencies a great financial investment?

Cryptocurrencies may increase in value, but many investors see them as simple speculations, not real financial investments. The reason? Just like genuine currencies, cryptocurrencies create no capital, so for you to profit, someone 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 organization, which increases its worth with 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 noted, cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin might not be that safe, and some notable voices in the financial investment neighborhood have recommended would-be financiers to avoid them. Of specific note, famous financier Warren Buffett compared Bitcoin to paper checks: “It’s an extremely reliable way of transmitting cash and you can do it anonymously and all that. A check is a method of transmitting cash too. Are checks worth a lot of cash? Just because they can transfer money?” 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 price is for goods. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have been anything however stable through much of their history. For instance, while Bitcoin traded at close to $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 rate volatility produces a conundrum. If bitcoins might be worth a lot more in the future, individuals are less likely to invest and flow them today, making them less practical as a currency. Why spend a bitcoin when it could be worth 3 times the worth next year?

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