We hear more and more about cryptocurrencies – most of you will know about Bitcoin, for example. And, depending on who you listen to, it seems that cryptocurrency might have a big role to play in everyone’s future. So, I thought I would take a look at some of the basics of cryptocurrency today. What is it? Where can you use it? How do you get it? And, of course, is it all going to be worth it? Let’s take a closer look at why more people each year are making a big deal about cryptocurrency.
What are cryptocurrencies?
In simple terms, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and others are just an evolutionary step for money. In the olden days, people used to exchange gold or other precious metals for goods. The gold soon turned coins, and then to a promise of gold, in the form of paper money. These days, of course, we don’t need the gold – the bank notes we use are more than enough. And, in fact, so many of us pay by plastic that even the notes are becoming scarce. Cryptocurrencies take things a little further. It’s a digital currency that gives people the ability to transfer funds via the Internet. And, decentralization means that these currencies are independent of central banks.
Where are they used?
Use of cryptocurrencies is becoming more widespread. In the early days, these currencies were used for all kinds of payments, most of which were a little suspect – on the DarkWeb, for example. Things are a little different now, however. Consumers and industries alike are starting to take cryptocurrency payments. You might even find some retail stores are accepting it these days. According to http://www.ethereumgamblingsites.com/, you can even use the Ethereum cryptourrency for gambling. As time goes by, many experts believe we will see more people adopt cryptocurrency. However, there is a long way to go before they eclipse credit and debit cards as the payment method of choice.
The solution to a failing banking system?
While most of us here in the States have access to a bank account, not everyone has the option. And when you look at banking on a global scale, things are considerably worse. There are more than two billion people locked out of the banking system, ineligible for even opening an account. Experts believe that cryptocurrencies could be the answer. While the market for crypto is still incredibly volatile, there is hope, according to http://phys.org. Researchers believe that the currency offers many opportunities. For example, developing countries could avoid the extortionate fees they pay for transactions. Reports suggest that in certain countries, these transaction costs can be as much as 12%. And, when you are talking millions and billions of dollars, that all adds up to a considerable cost.
Should I buy cryptocurrencies?
It’s never been easier to buy cryptocurrencies as it is today. And, let’s be honest – there are plenty of people out there who have earned a lot of money from them. But, while it is piquing the interests of many investors, there are still a lot of risks involved. Attacks on the network, market fluctuations, and a lack of central authority are all big risk factors. For now, then, it’s a bit of a gamble. But for the future? We shall see…