Cryptocurrency is a form of digital money that is unregulated and based on the blockchain technology. You may be aware of the most popular versions, Bitcoin and Ethereum, but according to CoinMarketCap, there are over 5,000 distinct crytocurrencies in circulation.
Although many people invest in cryptocurrency as they would in other assets such as stocks or precious metals, you may use crypto to buy conventional goods and services. While cryptocurrency is a fresh and interesting asset, investing in it can be risky because you should conduct extensive research to properly understand how each system operates.
Long before the first digital alternative currencies (Bitcoin) appeared, cryptocurrency existed just as a theory. Around the early 21st century, attempts had been made to create online currency using encrypted ledgers. B-Money and Bit Gold are two examples that came close to reality but never completely developed and made their debut.
On January 12th, 2009, a new finance counterculture was established when an identity named Satoshi Nakamoto, whose real identity remains a mystery to this day, sent 10 Bitcoin to Hal Finney. The value of bitcoin was less than a dollar at the time; users tipped bitcoin as an exchange for positive forum comments. On May 22nd, 2010, the first “real” transaction took place. Laszlo Hanyecz spent 10,000 of bitcoin ($30 at the time) on two pizzas.
Bitcoin was originally a theory, to create a decentralized non-government controlled form of currency. Instead of a central bank, people can send money across the world without foreign fees. The mechanism that was designed to run without trust encountered trust concerns as digital money grew in popularity. As the price of bitcoin soared, the rise of alternative coins appeared hopefully to be as successful as Bitcoin.
As more people adopted the foundations of crypto and the blockchain, the creation of alternative coins came to rise, hoping to compete for a higher market cap against Bitcoin. One coin in particular, Ethereum, a cryptocurrency that enables blockchain-based smart contracts and apps, is currently second next to Bitcoin in terms of market capital.
The emergence of Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) signified Ethereum's arrival. These are crowdfunding systems that allow investors to exchange what are stocks or shares in startup companies, much like they can invest in and trade cryptocurrencies. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the United States warned investors that, due to a lack of monitoring, ICOs might easily be scams or quick money grabs disguising as legal investments.
In the beginning, cryptocurrency was mainly stored through something physical such as a hardware wallet or a paper wallet. Physical wallets are most known to be the safest as they are considered offline and not stored digitally where cybercriminals can easily access the user's wallet. To access a wallet, the user needed a key such as a strain of randomized texts, letters, and symbols to access. Today, digitally stored software wallets have become more popular as more platforms have been created to buy, sell and store cryptocurrencies. Click here to learn more about the types of crypto-wallets and which wallet is the most secure.
Before you invest and purchase your first cryptocurrency, the best way to keep your crypto wallet safe is to implement a security system to protect your devices. Here at Cyber Unit we offer all types of protection, from mobile to computer protection plans. We offer customized security plans for individuals and businesses, at a price that’s right for you. We can also help you to check if your devices have been compromised. Contact us today to learn more.