In today’s technology world, cryptocurrency is a word that is becoming more and more popular every day. To some, it may seem like the technology of the future. But the truth is that blockchain technology and crypto coins have revolutionized the way we store and transfer our money.
Whenever any new technologies are introduced they are intangible before becoming common such as ATMs, mobile check deposit, digital wallets, Venmo, robot vacuum and Alexa etc. In today’s time, people have the same questions regarding artificial intelligence, metaverse and cryptocurrency, how do they work. However, ever since cryptocurrency entered the mainstream, everyone on the internet is trying to find answers about what is it and how does it work?
If you are also confused about cryptocurrencies, then before you use or invest in cryptocurrency, it is very important for you to know what it is, how it works. How is it different from cash and other payment methods and how to avoid cryptocurrency scams.
What is cryptocurrency?
Fiat money (US Dollar, Euro, Rupee and Yen) usually comes to mind when people think of currency, but cryptocurrency is completely different from fiat money, which is legal tender issued by the government. Some people think that cryptocurrencies may be backed by valuables things such as gold and silver, but this is not the case at all.
A cryptocurrency is a type of digital or virtual currency that usually only exists electronically. Cryptocurrencies are created using cryptographic techniques. Cryptographic techniques make it nearly impossible to counterfeit or double spend. They are generally not issued by any central authority, giving them in principle immunity from government interference or manipulation.
How does cryptocurrency work?
By now you have learned that cryptocurrency is a digital currency, now you must be thinking, but how does cryptocurrency work, exactly? so let’s go
Cryptocurrencies are created through a mining process. Mining does not mean digging gold, but solving cryptographic problems. It is a complex process that requires solving certain mathematical puzzles on specially equipped computer systems.
According to analysts there are two methods of mining cryptocurrencies which are known as proof of work and proof of stake. Proof-of-work mining methods involve specialized computers, known as mining rigs, that compete first to solve complex mathematical problems called hashes. Due to the increasing complexity of the hash, the difficulty of the hash is increasing continuously, as a result of which the mining computers will have to become more and more powerful.
Bitcoin, the most popular cryptocurrency, also uses proof-of-work mining. However, according to critics, this mining uses powerful and high-energy-use computers, which emit billions of pounds of carbon dioxide, which is considered very serious for the environment. Given the serious environmental impacts, alternative cryptocurrencies have switched or are in the process of switching to alternative verification methods, such as proof of stake. This method is a green alternative to proof-of-work mining.
Since the release of bitcoin in 2009, the use of the cryptocurrency has skyrocketed. There are thousands of cryptocurrencies available in the market today. Major cryptocurrencies include the following:
Bitcoin(BTC) -Founded in 2009, bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency developed by Satoshi Nakamoto. Bitcoin is the world’s first widely accepted form of cryptocurrency. It is the most widely used cryptocurrency globally and there was a time when its name was synonymous with cryptocurrency. The price of bitcoin reached its all-time high in 2021 where one bitcoin was worth $68,000.
Ethereum(ETH) – Developed in 2015, after bitcoin, is the second preferred cryptocurrency, called ether (ETH) or ethereum. It is currently the second largest digital currency by market capitalization after bitcoin, although it lags behind the major cryptocurrency by a significant margin. Ethereum is a blockchain platform that has its own cryptocurrency.
Tether (USDT) – Launched in 2014, Tether is the third largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization. The price of Tether is directly tied to the price of the US Dollar which attempts to smooth out price fluctuations to attract users who might otherwise be cautious. Tether has a market cap of $68.43 billion and a per token value of $1.0000254 as of 15 October 2022.
Binance Coin (BNB) – Binance Coin (BNB) is a utility cryptocurrency that serves as a payment method for fees associated with trading on the Binance Exchange. Binance Coin’s blockchain is also the platform on which Binance’s decentralized exchange operates. Binance Coin was initially an ERC-20 token that operated on the Ethereum blockchain. As of 15 October 2022, the market capitalization of Binance Coin is $43.625 billion, with one BNB being valued at approximately $270.50.
Cardano (ADA) – Charles Hoskinson, one of the five early founding members of Ethereum, helped create Cardano after disagreeing with the direction in which Ethereum was headed. It is a “proof-of-stake” cryptocurrency. Although Cardano is still in its early stages, it is also referred to as the “Ethereum killer” because of its very capable blockchain technology. As of October 15, 2022, Cardano has a market capitalization of approximately $12.615B, and an ADA turnover of approximately $0.368.
How to buy cryptocurrency
Buying cryptocurrencies can be a bit confusing for any newbie, if you are also new to the crypto world, figuring out how to buy Bitcoin, Dogecoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies can be a bit tricky, but buying it Very easy yes. You can start investing in cryptocurrencies by following these simple steps.
Choosing an Exchange or a Broker :- To buy cryptocurrency, first you have to choose a crypto exchange or broker. Brokers and crypto exchanges allow you to buy crypto but there are some important differences between them. There is also a difference in the charges of both. Exchanges often have relatively low fees, but they have more complex interfaces with multiple trading types and advanced performance charts, all of which can make them intimidating for new crypto investors. Talking about the most famous cryptocurrency exchanges, they are Coinbase, Gemini and Binance. Talking about cryptocurrency brokers, they charge higher fees than the exchanges. Robinhood and SoFi are two of the most famous crypto brokers.
Create an Account & Verify : -Once you have selected a broker or exchange for your crypto investment, you need to open an account on it. When you sign up to open an account, you are also required to provide certain documents to verify your identity. This is a necessary step for you to prevent crypto fraud and meet federal regulatory requirements. When you have completed this you are able to buy or sell cryptocurrency. You cannot buy and sell crypto until you complete this verification process.
Deposit Cash In Your Account : -Once you have verified your account, you get the right to buy and sell, but for this you also need to have a few dollars in your account. You can also deposit money into your crypto account by linking your bank account, authorizing a wire transfer or paying with a debit or credit card. Some credit card companies also charge you an additional cash advance fee when you deposit money into your account with your credit card.
Choose Your Cryptocurrency : -When you have money in your account, you can buy any cryptocurrency. You can buy any cryptocurrency coins you want to buy. Crypto exchanges and brokers offer you a choice from well-known names like Bitcoin and Ethereum to more obscure cryptos like Theta Fuel or Holo. If you want to buy high-priced tokens like bitcoin or ethereum, but can’t because you are short of money, you can also buy fractional shares of the cryptocurrency through exchanges and brokers.
Store your Cryptocurrency : – When you buy a cryptocurrency, it also has to be protected. In today’s time, the risk of being stolen or hacked has increased a lot. Of an estimated 18.5 million bitcoins currently in circulation, about 20% ($140B) appears to be in lost or otherwise trapped wallets. If you forget or lose the code to access your account, you may lose your investment. That’s why it’s so important to have a secure storage place for your cryptocurrency.
When you buy crypto through an exchange, you have a choice whether you can store them in a crypto wallet or look for some other option, while buying cryptocurrency through a broker you have There are no options.
When you buy crypto from an exchange but you don’t want to store it there, you have two options, hot wallet and cold wallet. However, you have to pay some extra charges for doing so.
Advantages of Cryptocurrencies
There is no denying that cryptocurrencies are slowly getting integrated into the world’s economic infrastructure. Cryptocurrency has become extremely popular over the past few years. Despite the growing curiosity in crypto, governments are cracking down on the digital currency because it is decentralized, meaning it has no central authority. However there are a lot of advantages to using and investing in cryptocurrency. Here are the top six benefits to consider.
Always-Open Markets – Cryptocurrency is money for the digital age. This is the natural and logical next step in financial services in the world. Where in today’s time any bank or stock market is open during its scheduled business hours and financial markets are completely closed during the holiday. On the other hand the crypto markets work 24 hours a day, seven days a week without exception. Only a few things that can inhibit a person’s ability to trade cryptocurrency include power, internet or centralized exchange outages.
No middle man – Being a decentralized currency, it is not influenced by any bank or government central authorities. Therefore transactions are usually easy, fast and require little or no additional transaction fees. Thus, cryptocurrency transactions are transparent and also provide anonymity to the users. Since there is no central authority controlling cryptocurrencies, it is very difficult to prevent anyone from using them.
More confidential – Due to cryptographic technology cryptocurrencies cannot be counterfeited or double spent, unlike fiat currencies. Your crypto wallet is protected by a private key. However, if you lose your private key, there is no way to recover your funds. It is also a preferred form of payment among criminals trading in illegal goods and services due to the high degree of confidentiality of this technology. So governments feel threatened by digital currency.
Easy to use – Cryptocurrencies are very easy to use. You need a wallet and an internet connection just like you use your wallet. You can easily navigate the wallet’s software and transact cryptocurrency.
Short Settlement Times and Low Fees – If you want to send money to someone from your account, then we have to go to the bank or contact any middleman. But the U.S. Most transactions in financial institutions are settled in three to five days. A wire transfer usually takes at least 24 hours. When we ship from country to country it takes a few days but cryptocurrency provides 24 hours access. You can send or receive crypto coins whenever you want. Cryptocurrency transactions require a minimum transaction fee. Today Ethereum handles 15 transactions per second, Ripple handles 1700 transactions per second and blockchains also claim to handle over 50,000 transactions per second.
Potential Inflation Hedge – The industry has been one of the fastest growing markets ever since the introduction of cryptocurrency. Most cryptocurrencies are hard-capped at a certain limit. E.g. only 21 million bitcoins will be issued. There are many other cryptocurrencies that use a supply limiting mechanism and can act as a hedge against inflation. While the total market cap of the cryptocurrency market in 2013 was approximately $1.6 billion, it is worth more than $9.15 billion in October 2022.
Disadvantages Of Cryptocurrencies
Everything has advantages as well as disadvantages, cryptocurrencies today also suffer from a number of drawbacks that force them to be called the next “bubble”. In this regard, it is important to recognize and understand the shortcomings and constraints that may hinder the mass introduction of this technology. Let us know about the disadvantages of cryptocurrency –
Difficult to understand – Cryptocurrency has become quite popular in no time but it is also true that many people are not fully aware of this amazing technology. It is a digital currency based on a complex blockchain technology. These technologies are still developing. Crypto investing creates a sense of risk due to the lack of awareness among the people. For this reason, there is a big obstacle in adopting it globally.
volatile – There are a lot of problems in the minds of investors regarding cryptocurrencies, among which volatility is also one. That is why many governments currently do not accept cryptocurrencies. Price volatility associated with the lack of inherent value in it is a serious problem. If we talk about bitcoin, its value is extremely volatile, rising and decreasing rapidly. Speculators want profit, but true investors consider it too risky, and therefore no one invests in bitcoin.
Regulations – While fiat currency is controlled by our governments, cryptocurrencies are not regulated by anyone. Being out of control, naturally, attracts tax evaders. While cryptocurrencies are currently not legalized in many countries, some countries have begun to adopt the technology.
Cybersecurity issues – Cyber security is an important aspect in today’s technological era. In the past few years, we have seen evidence of crypto hacks by hackers. This results in loss of millions of dollars to the investors. The biggest disadvantage is that once you lose a coin, you cannot get it again. That is why there is a need for continuous maintenance of security infrastructure to reduce it.
Cryptocurrency fraud and cryptocurrency scams
As we know cryptocurrencies are a volatile investment, whose prices can fluctuate drastically on any given day. This virtual money is not backed by any government or central bank. The prospect of a quick money can blind some people to the risks and enable crooks to entrap them in scams. If you are looking to invest in crypto then beware of the following crypto scams before you start.
Bogus websites :- In today’s time people make money by creating fake sites studded with fake testimonials and crypto jargon that promise huge, guaranteed returns on your investment. Beware of this fake website.
Celebrity” Endorsements :- Crypto scams involve people using a billionaire or other big names to lure you into investing in crypto. Thus, if you invest in it, the money goes directly to the scammers.
Pump and Dumps :- This is the age of social media and scammers take advantage of this to spread some false rumors that famous person is endorsing a certain currency. Its purpose is to entice investors to buy, raise the price, and then sell their stake, causing the value of the currency to fall.
Ponzi Schemes : – Some crooks attract investors by pretending to be such schemes as people and steal a lot of money from people by trapping them.
Today, every day fraudsters are committing scams. Some scammers masquerade as legitimate crypto traders or set up fake exchanges to lure people into paying money. However, there are also some straight-up hackers who break into “digital wallets” where people store their virtual currency. Some crooks pretending to be government or lottery officials are soliciting payment in virtual currency for alleged loans, bills or prize fees, directing their targets at crypto ATMs and running through transactions. Huh. You all need to be safe from them
Frequently Asks Questions(FAQ’s)
Q1. What exactly is a cryptocurrency?
Cryptocurrency is a digital currency that uses cryptography for safe and secure payments. It is not regulated by any regulator. No third party is required to verify crypto transactions.
Q2. How to choose the best cryptocurrency to invest in?
To buy any cryptocurrency, first you have to do some research, including its history, how it works and read its white paper on currency.
Q3. Is Cryptocurrency Safe Yet?
Cryptocurrencies are created using blockchain technology, which stores and records transactions in blocks with their respective time stamps. This whole process and digital currency security make it difficult for hackers to tamper with.
The Bottom Line
Cryptocurrencies are digital assets that are secured by cryptography. Although the world of cryptocurrency may seem a bit daunting to newcomers. If you want to invest your money in this then it is important to understand the risks involved before investing. Success on any cryptocurrency investment hinges on being able to sell the crypto you buy at a profit.