Cryptocurrencies are prevalent these days. You aren’t alone if you have no idea what they are or how they function; many people feel the same way. We’ll cover most of the topics about cryptocurrencies, including what they are, how they operate, and why they’re so popular in a very beginner-friendly way/tone so you will understand the topic, even when you never heard about them prior. We’ll also cover the most popular cryptocurrencies on the market so that you can decide whether or not you’d want to invest in them. So keep reading if you want to learn more about how Cryptocurrency works for beginners!
What Is Cryptocurrency?
It is a form of cryptocurrency that uses mathematics to secure transactions and transfer money. The name comes from the fact that all of its transactions are very encrypted, making the trades relatively safe. It’s different from regular currencies in that it’s decentralized rather than administered and regulated by a central authority. A cryptocurrency has an inherent scarcity; like gold and silver, it is deemed finite in number.
Cryptocurrency creation is accomplished through mining, using powerful computers to solve challenging math problems and earn rewards. In other words, frequent cryptocurrency trading increases the amount of cryptocurrency globally.
Cryptocurrencies with blockchains are a security technology for your assets since they all maintain identical transaction records, making it an ideal method to store money.
“Investors who recognize the blockchain technology and have focused opinions on specific elements that will become central in the years ahead may invest in cryptocurrencies that are at the core of those areas,” said Swapnil Pawar, founder of ASQI Advisors.
How Does Cryptocurrency Work?
Transactions are sent between peers via “cryptocurrency wallets,” a software form. The person executing the trade uses the wallet software to move assets from one account (also known as a public address) to another. To transfer money, you’ll need information on a password (also known as a private key) linked with your account. Transactions between peers are encrypted and broadcast throughout the network, where they’re stored on the public ledger pending verification. “Mining” is used to document transactions on the open register.
Users can view the ledger if they want to, for example, by downloading and running a “full node” wallet (as opposed to keeping their coins in a third-party wallet like Coinbase). The amount of money involved in public but who sends it is obscured. A unique set of keys is associated with each transaction.
Bitcoins are a cryptocurrency, so anybody with access to the keys can control the amount of bitcoin associated with them (just like anybody with a bank account has access to the money in it). Many transactions are recorded at once. Miners add transactions one by one to a ledger. That’s why the ledger and its technology are known as “blockchain.” It comprises “blocks” of transactions connected via “chains.”
Okay, you might understand how cryptocurrency works now, but why are there so many different ones on the market you might ask?
Where Cryptocurrency Comes from, And How Are New Cryptocurrencies Created?
Cryptocurrency is formed by code. When transactions are confirmed by a procedure known as mining, new coins are created in many situations.
While Bitcoin and Ethereum utilize mining to create new coins, not every cryptocurrency employs mining in this way, and coins may be generated in various ways.
The code of a specific cryptocurrency determines the method by which cryptocurrencies are produced. A cryptocurrency may, for example, create some tokens as developer rewards at launch or provide holders of a token with interest to compensate miners.
Think about several things before you understand how cryptocurrency is produced.
Consider the following factors:
- Blockchain is software that dictates how transactions are recorded, and data is stored.
- Cryptocurrency transactions are typically kept in a type of database known as a blockchain (other cryptos use distinct technology, but the result is the same).
- For example, “cryptocurrency” refers to a cryptocurrency’s blockchain and the numerical data thereon. Another name for that substitute for value is “token” (often also known as a “coin”).
- Cryptocurrencies are created using cryptography-based algorithms. As a result, it is dubbed “crypto” money. Every transaction is secured with unique cryptographic codes that protect the network.
- Because crypto software is decentralized and distributed, it is hosted on a variety of people’s computers worldwide rather than on one server by one firm.
- The algorithms are designed to give coins to computers that contribute transactions to the blockchain. Mining is the process of adding transactions to the blockchain.
- The rules and regulations of the cryptocurrency are outlined in its code.
- The majority of cryptocurrencies, therefore, generate new coins using individuals all around the globe utilizing equipment to add transactions to the blockchain. Otherwise, cryptocurrency tokens are developed in various ways depending on a particular cryptocurrency’s software.
- Finally, because the code for almost all cryptocurrencies is public, anybody may inspect how they’re generated.
How to Choose the Best Cryptocurrency?
According to data available on the CoinMarketCap website, as of November 13, 2021, there were 14,106 cryptocurrencies (over 20.000 in July 2022) with a total market capitalization of USD 2.7 trillion trading at 430 exchanges worldwide. Given these statistics, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and have no idea which cryptocurrencies to invest in. We’ll examine how to narrow down your options so you can make an informed decision.
There are several factors to consider while selecting a cryptocurrency for investment.
Here are four key elements to consider:
The most common method for selecting cryptocurrencies for investment is to rank them according to their market capitalization. The top ten cryptocurrencies are ranked by market capitalization, as shown in the table below.
Total Coins to Be Mined and Current Supply
Look into whether there will be a restricted supply of a particular cryptocurrency. You should also think about the number of currently circulating coins. For example, Bitcoin’s total supply is limited to mining 21 million coins. As of August 2021, 18.7 million coins are available, with only 2.3 million more to be mined.
As the number of Bitcoin investors grows, its demand increases daily. However, there is a limit to supply. Demand and scarcity are linked; as demand rises, so does the price of every digital asset, including Bitcoin. So, while selecting which crypto to invest in, consider how much total quantity will be available and how much has already circulated.
Every cryptocurrency has a white paper containing information about the coin, such as its goal, issues it will solve, the technology it employs, and so on. The white paper also describes the creators’ vision for the coin. If the white paper appears realistic, you might consider investing in the currency with a small investment.
You may follow the progress of your white paper’s mission over time to see whether it is being implemented in reality. If it is, its value will rise. As a result, you may decide whether or not to add more money to the specific cryptocurrency.
The white paper also mentions one of the coin’s primary uses. It’s one of the most significant elements behind user/investor acceptance. New use cases may be added over time. The wider a currency’s favor is, the more value it will have and the sooner it will appreciate.
What Are NFTs, And Why Are They Also Cryptocurrency?
Non-fungible tokens are digital assets that are not interchangeable. This means that each one is unique and has its properties. They are perfect for representing digital collectibles, such as art, game items, and other individual assets.
NFTs are also cryptocurrencies because they use blockchain technology to store and transfer them. Blockchain is a digital ledger that documents all cryptocurrency transactions. Ethereum is the second-largest cryptocurrency platform after Bitcoin.
Ethereum’s blockchain is different from Bitcoin’s in that it allows for smart contracts. Smart contracts are programmable agreements that can automatically execute when certain conditions are met. This makes Ethereum’s blockchain more versatile than Bitcoin’s, which is why most NFTs are built on Ethereum.
NFTs, often known as non-fungible tokens, are digital tokens that have recently gained popularity. While there exist many different kinds of NFTs, they all have one thing in common: they’re all kept on the blockchain.
Also to explain it simply: Your NFT will be displayed in Etherscan as 1 Cryptocurrency token, which will help you to understand the concept.
Cryptocurrency Pros and Cons
Cryptocurrency, like any other investment, has its pros and cons that you should be aware of before deciding whether or not to invest. Some of the significant pros of investing in cryptocurrency include:
- Cryptocurrencies are digital or virtual tokens that employ cryptography for security.
- Cryptocurrencies are not governed by governments or financial institutions, which means they are decentralized.
- Cryptocurrencies are often cheaper and faster to transact than traditional fiat currencies.
- Cryptocurrencies can be used to send and receive payments anonymously.
However, there are also some significant cons to investing in cryptocurrency that you should be aware of, including:
- The market value of cryptocurrencies is highly unpredictable and may fluctuate widely daily.
- Only some governments and big banks do back cryptocurrencies yet, so their value depends entirely on market demand.
- Cryptocurrencies are not yet widely accepted as a form of payment, so they can be challenging to use in everyday transactions.
- Cryptocurrencies are subject to theft and fraud due to their digital nature
- There are many scams and bad platforms out there where you can lose your funds
Remember, not your keys, not your currency – do use the safest option to store your crypto, a cryptocurrency hardware wallet.
Moritz Pindorek (Moritzpindorek.com)
Social Media, Marketing & Blockchain
Crypto/Web 3 Advisor, Top 10 Crypto Influencer 2022(Forbes Monaco) & Top 10 Entrepreneur 2022 (Forbes Monaco)
Owner and writer for Cryptouserguide.com