What is Cryptocurrency?
A cryptocurrency is a form of digital currency that is known for being secure and semi-anonymous. Cryptocurrency has been gaining ground in the mainstream ever since Satoshi Nakamoto introduced Bitcoin to the world back in 2009. Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency that maintained viability and it is completely thanks to blockchain technology. There are many reasons to rally around the concept of cryptocurrency but in order to do so in a meaningful way, we must first learn more about the fascinating idea itself.
Cryptocurrency: A Long Road To Viability
Believe it or not, Bitcoin wasn’t the birth of the crypto concept. We can go back to the early ’90s, during the technology boom, in order to find early ventures into the crypto market. Systems such as Beenz, DigiCash, and Flooz all sought to make their mark as semi-anonymous forms of digital currency. Each of the three systems that just named would end up failing due to shortcomings between leadership and employees. It’s also worth mentioning that in the ’90s, computers were nowhere near ready to handle what cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum are demanding. Then came the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto.
Nakamoto introduced the Bitcoin White Paper in 2008 and by 2009, Bitcoin itself was unveiled to the world. Satoshi described his work with Bitcoin to his followers by hammering on the anonymity and security that the peer-to-peer system demanded. With Bitcoin as a currency, the opportunity to field a completely deregulated and decentralized currency was finally a reality. There would be no centralized banking institutions seeking to control how much Bitcoin was printed or how much the coins themselves would be worth. Instead, Bitcoin would regulate itself through the invention of something called a blockchain.
Art Of The Blockchain
When you go to the grocery store and purchase something with your credit card, you receive a receipt of the transaction. That transaction is also recorded and sent to your bank. With Bitcoin, transactions are ostensibly public but they are backed up by other users in the blockchain itself.
The blockchain is comprised of countless individuals around the world all working to transcribe the same transactions. As transactions are recorded on the ledger, they are added to a ‘block’. The self-auditing ledger system ensures that there are no double-expenditures while also securing the cryptocurrency from potential hacks. With the ledger constantly being double-checked by countless nodes, there is never going to be a time when a compromise can happen In essence, the ledger is fool-proof due to the consensus agreement of the entire network.
Blockchain technology, more than Bitcoin itself, might be what makes cryptocurrency such a groundbreaking invention. Cryptocurrency is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to utilizing blockchain technology. Still, it should not be ignored how important the advent of cryptocurrency actually is. Cryptocurrency has a chance to fundamentally change the world as we see it. Cryptocurrency, such as Bitcoin, gives us the chance to move away from a fiat currency. In a very real way, cryptocurrency could be the end of the traditional dollar.
What Does Cryptocurrency Offer
When cryptocurrency first hit the market, there were very few major merchants that were willing to accept it as a currency. Thankfully, opportunities with cryptocurrency are continuing to grow and now forward thinking merchants are beginning to embrace them. Online retailers, in particular, appear to be ahead of the curve in their acceptance of cryptocurrency as a financial option. From Ripple and Bitcoin to Ethereum and Litecoin, cryptocurrency is experiencing massive growth as an actual form of currency. Yet, we’d be selling cryptocurrency short if we lingered only on its viability as a cash asset.
Cryptocurrency is also gaining ground as an investment opportunity. In the early days of Bitcoin, the coin itself was relatively worthless and easy to stockpile. Now that cryptocurrency has showcased viability, those previously worthless coins are valuable enough to turn people into millionaires. Still, cryptocurrencies are volatile investments and the market is notoriously tough on these kinds of speculative investments. Bitcoin currently leads the cryptocurrency market in viability and serves as an ideal starting spot for newcomers to the field.