Experian Cryptocurrency

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 safeguard yourself.

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A cryptocurrency (or “crypto”) is a digital currency that can be used to buy products and services, however uses an online ledger with strong cryptography to secure online transactions. Much of the interest in these unregulated currencies is to trade for profit, with speculators sometimes driving rates skyward.

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

1. What is cryptocurrency?

Cryptocurrency is a form of payment that can be exchanged online for goods and services. Many companies have actually released their own currencies, frequently called tokens, and these can be traded specifically for the good or service that the company supplies. Consider them as you would arcade tokens or gambling establishment 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 throughout many computer systems that handles and records deals. Part of the appeal of this technology is its security.

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

More than 6,700 different cryptocurrencies are traded openly, according to CoinMarketCap.com, a marketing research site. And cryptocurrencies continue to multiply, raising money through preliminary 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 examine the present rate to buy Bitcoin here

3. Why are cryptocurrencies so popular?

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

Supporters see cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin as the currency of the future and are racing to purchase them now, probably before they become more valuable Some advocates like the reality that cryptocurrency eliminates reserve banks from handling the money supply, given that over time these banks tend to decrease the value of cash via inflation Other supporters like the technology behind cryptocurrencies, the blockchain, since it’s a decentralized processing and recording system and can be more safe than conventional payment systems Some speculators like cryptocurrencies due to the fact that they’re increasing in worth and have no interest in the currencies’ long-term acceptance as a method to move cash

4. Are cryptocurrencies an excellent investment?

Cryptocurrencies might go up in value, however numerous financiers see them as mere speculations, not real financial investments. The reason? Just like genuine currencies, cryptocurrencies generate no capital, so for you to benefit, somebody needs 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 organization, which increases its value over 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 needs to be kept in mind that a currency requires stability.” As NerdWallet writers have kept in mind, cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin might not be that safe, and some notable voices in the investment neighborhood have encouraged potential financiers to avoid them. Of specific note, legendary financier Warren Buffett compared Bitcoin to paper checks: “It’s a really reliable method of transmitting money and you can do it anonymously and all that. A check is a method of sending cash too. Are checks worth a lot of cash? Just because they can send money?” For those who see cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin as the currency of the future, it ought to be noted that a currency requires stability so that merchants and customers can determine what a fair rate is for products. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have actually been anything but stable through much of their history. 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 on. By December 2020, it was trading at record levels once again.

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

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