What is Crypto anyway?

And why is it such a big deal?
These are the questions everyone is asking about!

What is Crypto?

The answer is simple, Crypto is short for Cryptorrency and it is digital money.

But why do we need Crypto?​

People hold Cryptocurrnecy because it has value, it’s decentralized, and it’s very secure because it lives on “the blockchain”

How can Crypto benefit me?

Crypto is young and volatile but we in the crypto space believe SOME (not all) cryptocurrencies will be worth way more then any stock would by just simply holding on to it. There are other ways of making money with Crypto though.

HODL it – just accumulate as much as you can over time
MINE it – Use computer power to verify blocks and get paid
STAKE it – Add your coins to a node for miners to find in a lottery system
TRADE it – Buy and sell volatile coins with leverage to gain profits


Fun Fact: HODL is a term used in the crypto world it was created by accident created by someone that was drunk that misspelled the word holding. Now the term means “Hold On for Dear Life”

Types of Crypto

Crypto is a token and it is created for many different purposes. Some of them created to be a store of value and is considered a safe haven from inflating fiat currencies. Some are used as transaction and exchange tokens, and others are used as a utility like XYO which is a GPS incentivised coin.

The Origin of Cryptocurrency

In the early 1990s, most people were still struggling to understand the internet. However, there were some very clever folks who had already realized what a powerful tool it is.

Some of these clever folks, called cypherpunks, thought that governments and corporations had too much power over our lives. They wanted to use the internet to give the people of the world more freely. Using cryptography, cypherpunks wanted to allow users of the internet to have more control over their money and information. As you can tell, the cypherpunks didn’t like trusted third parties at all!

At the top of the cypherpunks, the to-do list was digital cash. DigiCash and Cybercash were both attempts to create a digital money system. They both had some of the six things needed to be cryptocurrencies but neither had all of them. By the end of the
the nineties, both had failed.

The world would have to wait until 2009 before the first fully decentralized digital cash system was created. Its creator had seen the failure of the cypherpunks and thought that they could do better. Their name was Satoshi Nakamoto and their creation was called Bitcoin.

Understanding cryptocurrency means first understanding Bitcoin…

Using Cryptocurrencies

Using cryptocurrencies isn’t like using fiat currency. You can’t hold cryptocurrency in your hand and you can’t open a cryptocurrency account. Cryptocurrency only exists on the blockchain. Users access their cryptocurrency using codes called public and private keys.

It’s a bit like sending emails. If you want someone to send you an email, you tell them your email address. Well, if you want someone to send you cryptocurrency, you tell them your public key.

Now, if you want to read your emails or send an email, you need to enter your email password. This is how private keys work. Private keys are like passwords for cryptocurrency. Public keys can be seen by anyone, but private keys should only be seen by you. If there is one paramount detail you should learn from this What is Cryptocurrency guide, it’s that keeping your private keys safe is extremely important!

Private and public keys are kept in wallets. Crypto wallets can be online, offline, software, hardware or even paper. Some can be downloaded for free or are hosted by websites. Others are more expensive. For example, hardware wallets can cost around a hundred US Dollars. You should use several different kinds of wallets when you use cryptocurrency.

Whoever has the private and public keys owns the cryptocurrency, so don’t lose your wallets! Cryptocurrency is pseudonymous, remember? There is no way to prove your own cryptocurrency unless you have the keys to it.

I’ve told you about how the first cryptocurrency was created and how it works. I’ve also told you about how cryptocurrency is stored and used. Now, let’s look at some other cryptocurrencies that have been created since Bitcoin…

Can Cryptocurrency Save the World

Cryptocurrency has a lot of critics. Some say that it’s all hype. Well, I have some bad news for those people. Cryptocurrency is here to stay and it’s going to make the world a better place.

Centralized organizations have let us down.

In 2008, banks cost taxpayers trillions of dollars and caused the world economy to fall apart.
The credit checking agency, Equifax, lost more than 140,000,000 of its customers’ personal details in 2017.

This year, Facebook was forced to apologize for selling its users’ personal data.

Cryptocurrencies offer the people of the world another choice.

The governments of Syria, Yemen, and Libya have all failed to protect their people from violent civil wars.

What is the cryptocurrency to the people of Syria? It’s hope. Thirty percent of UN Aid is lost to third-party corruption so UNICEF has been using Ethereum to raise money for the children of Syria.

About 2 billion people around the world don’t have bank accounts. One in ten Afghanis are unbanked, many of them women. What is the cryptocurrency to an Afghani woman? It’s freedom. Bitcoin is giving women in Afghanistan financial freedom for the first time.

Blockchain technology could be used for elections in some of the most corrupt countries in the world. What is the cryptocurrency to the people of Sudan or Myanmar? It’s a voice. Free elections could be held without fear of violence or intimidation.

Cryptocurrencies can help make the world a fairer, safer and more peaceful place for us all to live in.

Final Thoughts: What is Cryptocurrency

So far, you’ve learned what cryptocurrencies are and how they work. You also know how to store them and where to trade them. However, understanding cryptocurrency is more than just understanding blockchains and mining. Understanding cryptocurrency is about understanding what those technologies can do for you.

Cryptocurrencies have the power to change our lives forever. They can help you take back control of your money and your information. Some people will ignore them and hope they go away. Others will join the party. Which will you be?

In this guide, I’ve told you everything you need to know about cryptocurrency.

Now it’s your turn…

What is the cryptocurrency to you?

What is Blockchain
A blockchain is a public ledger of information collected through a network that sits on top of the internet. It is how this information is recorded that gives blockchain its groundbreaking potential.

Blockchain technology is not a company, nor is it an app, but rather an entirely new way of documenting data on the internet. The technology can be used to develop blockchain applications, such as social networks, messengers, games, exchanges, storage platforms, voting systems, prediction markets, online shops and much more. In this sense, it is similar to the internet, which is why some have dubbed it “The Internet 3.0”.

The information recorded on a blockchain can take on any form, whether it be denoting a transfer of money, ownership, a transaction, someone’s identity, an agreement between two parties, or even how much electricity a lightbulb has used. However, to do so requires a confirmation from several of devices, such as computers, on the network. Once an agreement, otherwise known as a consensus, is reached between these devices to store something on a blockchain it is unquestionably there, it cannot be disputed, removed or altered, without the knowledge and permission of those who made that record, as well as the wider community.

Why is it Called “Blockchain”?
Blockchain owes its name to how it works and the manner in which it stores data, namely that the information is packaged into blocks, which link to form a chain with other blocks of similar information.

It is this act of linking blocks into a chain that makes the information stored on a blockchain so trustworthy. Once the data is recorded in a block it cannot be altered without having to change every block that came after it, making it impossible to do so without it being seen by the other participants on the network.

What is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is what started it all. click here to see more info on the greatest asset known to man

What are Altcoins?

Altcoins have just as much potential as Bticoin. Some are fake, some are scams, click here to know more!

Fun Facts

 

Who on planet Earth hasn’t heard of digital currency? Even if you’re the savviest of savvy Crypto-experts, we’re positive you’ve not given thought to each of the interesting cryptocurrency facts that you’ll find in this article! Let’s dive in…

1. 1,754 Cryptos… and Counting
The official number of cryptocurrencies currently doing the rounds has most probably exceeded the astonishing number of 1,754 – which is where it stood when we started writing this article! There are new altcoins created each day and the sad reality is that many of them won’t make it past a few months.

2. Extreme Volatility
There are many external factors that may have a direct impact on the value of Crypto money. That’s exactly why the prices of cryptocurrencies are known to be extremely volatile. Here’s a perfect example: in 2009, 1 bitcoin was worth $0.003; by the end of 2017, its value was $17,900 and still rising.

The extreme volatility of Cryptos is also one of the reasons why many investors choose to steer away from the Crypto-verse. If the value can swing dramatically, it means that you can potentially make large profits, but also large losses.

3. Who Owns Bitcoin?
We all know that the creation of Bitcoin is credited to Satoshi Nakamoto, although we have no idea whatsoever if there’s a single person or a whole group of people behind the pseudonym. The thing is, the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto never claimed the ownership of the original code, which means that it belongs to everyone… and no-one.

While we’re on the subject, did you know that Bitcoin’s crypto cap is currently worth staggering $111,956,326,512?

4. Would You Spend Your Bitcoin on Pizza?
This is a popular story often told in the Crypto-context. We think it should start with “Once upon a time”… Long story short, on May 22, 2010, a Bitcoin developer paid 10,000 BTC for two pizzas he ordered from Papa John’s. Last year, at the height of Bitcoin’s bullish run, that amount would have been worth $179m! It’s hard to believe how far Bitcoin and the market in general have actually come.

By the way, May 22 is now celebrated as Bitcoin Pizza Day, so mark your calendar!

5. If You Lose Your Crypto Wallet, You Lose Your Money
One of our previous articles discusses the importance of private keys that keep your crypto money safe. Remember, there’s no way back if you lose your private key. Once lost, your digital funds will disappear into the giant Crypto-void. Unless hacked, which is virtually impossible considering the structure of blockchain technology, your abandoned e-wallet will be lingering out there somewhere.

6. Worst Crypto Wallet Fail… EVER!
Last year, James Howells of Newport, Wales threw away a hard drive containing bitcoins worth a mind-blowing $75m. He has been desperately trying to get it back, and is even planning to dig-up the landfill site that it was supposedly transported to, but no luck so far. Talk about a treasure-hunt! What an epic fail!

7. China is the Largest Miner
Mining Cryptos is not as simple as it was several years ago. To be a successful miner today, you need a lot more time and resources than previously. However, China remains the biggest player when it comes to cryptocurrency mining, maintaining around 75% of the Bitcoin mining network.

8. The Largest ICO in History
Filecoin, a blockchain-based storage network and cryptocurrency, is the largest ICO in the history of FinTech. In 2017, this startup raised – have a seat if you’re standing before you continue reading – an incredible $257m! They collected the first $200m in just 30 minutes, believe it or not. Now, that’s a record that could be hard to beat!

9. Crypto is Even Good for Games
Did you know about Cryptokitties, the first game built using Ethereum technology? In just a week after the launch, the Ethereum blockchain registered a 10% increase in purchases, obviously, related to Cryptokitties. To be fair, who doesn’t want to collect and breed their own army of digital felines?!

10. Just 21 Million Bitcoin and Not a Coin More
It’s not possible to mine bitcoins infinitely as the total supply is already known. The game will be over in 2140, at which point all 21 million units will have finally been mined. 21 million and not a coin more!

11. Anyone Can Create a Crypto
One of the most fascinating and challenging facts on our Crypto list is that any John Doe or Joe Bloggs can create their own coin or token. Of course, there is a difference. A new coin requires a new blockchain to be created, but a new token can be created on an existing blockchain, like Ethereum.

12. Bitcoin is Physically Unbannable
This is the ‘lucky’ fact #13 and definitely something you didn’t know! We all hear news about governments trying to ban Bitcoin. Why so hostile? Bitcoin allows people to send/receive money without any intermediary – i.e., a bank – thus operating independently. That’s not necessarily good news for banks, which can also have an impact on the opinion of governments.

However, Bitcoin is designed in such a way that it can’t really be banned. Regulated, yes, but not physically banned. Realistically, anyone can get a Bitcoin wallet and an Internet connection and embark on their Crypto-journey!

To Sum-Up
The Crypto-world is amazing and totally worth the hype created around it. Whether you’re a believer or not, you’re living through a period of incredible global change, driven by the need for more and better-access to more advanced, faster, and more secure financial operations. Exciting times!

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