Cryptocurrency

What is a Cryptocurrency?

A cryptocurrency is a digital or virtual currency that uses cryptography for security. As a result of this feature, it is hard to impossible to counterfeit. Many cryptocurrencies are decentralized systems based on blockchain technology, a distributed ledger enforced by a disparate network of computers. A defining feature of a cryptocurrency, and arguably its biggest allure, is its organic nature; it is not issued by any central authority and thus it is theoretically immune to government interference or manipulation.

The first blockchain-based cryptocurrency was Bitcoin, which still remains the most popular and most valuable option. Today, there are thousands of alternate cryptocurrencies encompassing various functions or specifications. Some of these are clones of Bitcoin while others are “forks”. I.e. new cryptocurrencies that split off from an already existing one.

Cryptocurrency Benefits

Cryptocurrencies hold the promise of making it easier to transfer funds directly between two parties in a transaction without the need for a third party such as a bank or a credit card company. These transfers are facilitated through the use of public and private keys for security purposes. In modern cryptocurrency systems, a user’s “wallet,” or account address, has the public key, while the private key is used to sign transactions. Fund transfers are done with minimal processing fees, allowing users to avoid the steep fees charged by most banks and financial institutions for wire transfers.

Central to the appeal and function of Bitcoin is the blockchain technology. It is used to store an online ledger of all the transactions that have ever been conducted using bitcoins, it provides a data structure for this ledger which is exposed to a limited threat from hackers and can be copied across all computers running Bitcoin handling software. Every new block that is generated must be verified by the ledgers of each user on the market, making it almost impossible to forge transaction histories. At the same time, there is no central authority, government, or corporation that has access to your funds or your personal information.

Bitcoin (₿)

Bitcoin is a digital currency created in January 2009. It follows the ideas set out in a white paper by the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto, whose true identity has yet to be revealed. Bitcoin offers the promise of lower transaction fees than traditional online payment mechanisms and is operated by a decentralized authority, unlike government-issued currencies.

There are no physical bitcoins, only balances kept on a public ledger in the cloud, that – along with all Bitcoin transactions – is verified by a massive amount of computing power. Bitcoins are not issued or backed by any state or private financial institutions, nor are individual bitcoins valuable as a commodity. Despite its not being legal tender, Bitcoin charts high on popularity, and has triggered the launch of other virtual currencies collectively referred to as Altcoins.

Top 10 Altcoins

> Ethereum (ETH)
> Ripple (XRP)
> Litecoin (LTC)
> EOS (EOS)
> Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
> Stellar (XLM)
> Binance Coin (BNB)
> Tether (USDT)
> TRON (TRX)

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