Cryptocurrency has been the talk of the town for the past couple of months now. This form of currency has been raging up a storm in the market with a steep increase in their value. But what exactly is cryptocurrency and how can it be used?
Cryptocurrency can be defined as a form of digital currency in which encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of units of currency and verify the transfer of funds, operating independently of a central bank. Blockchain technology and cryptography are the two types of encryption techniques used for these digital transactions. Blockchain technology is a continuously growing list of records, called blocks, which are linked and secured using cryptography. Cryptography, on the other hand, is the practice and study of techniques for secure communication in the presence of third parties called adversaries. Simply put, it is a set of extremely complex code systems that encrypt sensitive data transfers, to secure their units of exchange.
Basically, cryptocurrency uses blockchain technology to create a gigantic ledger or blocks of transactions, allowing users to transfer and add information to it anonymously, without security compromises. It is a financial system that can be used to pay for items using digital money that is designed to be secure and anonymous. The first ever cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, was created in 2009 and since then there has been a proliferation of cryptocurrencies. The credit for the invention of Bitcoin goes to Satoshi Nakamoto, a secretive internet user who wasn’t identified until much later. The shadowy creator of the cryptocurrency revealed himself to be Craig Steven Wright from Australia, in August 2015.
In November last year, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies reached a market capitalization of over $ 13.8 billion and have reached $ 162 billion in 2017. One of the many reasons that cryptocurrency became popular is because it makes it difficult for marketers to collect the kind of data on consumers that help in the preparation of advertising and marketing strategies. With more number of internet users trying to reduce or remove their digital footprint, cryptocurrency provided the perfect platform to help deplete the amount of consumer data available. At present, cryptocurrency is based on a lot of hypotheses but is rapidly gaining traction and can even become the preferred payment method in the world.
Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple and Litcoin are some of the most common cryptocurrencies available. A few major countries have also begun accepting cryptocurrency as legitimized methods of payments and can be exchanged for fiat currencies in USA, UK, Japan and certain European countries, in special online markets.