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20 Jan
  • Editorial Team
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2018 has been the year of Cryptocurrencies. A cryptocurrency is a form of digital currency that is decentralized. This essentially means that it is not regulated by any central banking system, and instead it relies on cryptographic protocols, or extremely complex code systems, which encrypt sensitive data transfers to secure their units of exchange. Cryptocurrencies existed as theoretical concepts a couple of decades ago, but the foundation for the same was laid in the 1980’s. ‘Bitcoin’ was the first and is the currently most popular Cryptocurrency, it is being traded since 2009.

Features of Cyptocurrencies:

  1. Blockchain: Cryptocurrencies rely on the blockchain, which is a peer-to-peer network to register transactions so that the same money isn’t used twice. It’s a global network of miners who ensure that all transactions globally are verified and logged in.
  2. Security: Since the transactions cannot pass through unless they are verified by a local peer through a complex set of math problems called a cryptographic function, there are few chances of disruption or loss, thus making this system as secure as possible.
  3. Mining: Cryptocurrency mining uses algorithms to code, verify and add a digital transaction to its digital ledger and the blockchain in exchange for a reward. The first to add a transaction is rewarded.
  4. Limitless: Cryptocurrency has grown steadily in value in recent years and continues to add value to owners. It has steadily become a major source of wealth generation and investment.

Popular Cryptocurrencies:

  1. Bitcoin: One of the earliest forms of Cryptocurrency, Bitcoins are considered to be the most popular and stable. It enables transactions through decentralization, user anonymity, and blockchain transfer. Bitcoin has a market capitalization of nearly $294 billion.
  2. Litecoin: Litecoin was launched just after Bitcoin and is similar to Bitcoin except that it has a faster transaction confirmation time, creating faster blockchains. Owing to its algorithm, it can handle a higher volume of transactions.
  3. Ethereum: Launched in 2015, Ethereum enables Smart Contracts, which are applications that are built to run without any censorship, fraud or interference from third parties. Its market capitalization is $41.4 billion.
  4. Zcash: Zcash is an open-source currency that encrypts itself in a way that all transactions remain private on a public blockchain. Companies can control who sees their data even in an open environment.
  5. Dash: Dash, originally known as Darkcoin, like Zcash, enables secret transactions globally. It has a market capitalization of $7.4 million as of now. It enables both instant and private transactions and is self-governing.
  6. Ripple: Ripple enables instant global payments with full transparency at much lower costs. It has a market capitalization of $ 1.26 billion and doesn’t rely on mining.
  7. Monero: Monero is a private, untraceable currency whose development was community-driven and charity based. They employ a special technique called ring signatures that render transactions untraceable.

Where can one buy or trade in Cryptocurrency?

Cryptocurrencies can be bought easily through platforms like Coinbase, one needs to register and link their debit/ credit card or bank account. Other popular platforms include Indacoin.com, LocalBitcoins.com, and the BitPanda app. Bitcoin is the most popular and trustworthy cryptocurrency due to its ability to maintain its protocol with minimal issues.

Advantages of Cryptocurrencies:

  1. Cheaper transaction cost than traditional banks.
  2. Single currency all over the world lessens exchange costs.
  3. Limited currency set, controlling inflation and misuse.
  4. Lesser barriers in transactions.

Disadvantages of Cryptocurrencies:

  1. Exchange with current currency not possible.
  2. Chances of data loss.
  3. A Possibility of illegal trade.
  4. Aids tax evasion.
  5. Price volatility.
  6. No accountability.

Whether or not Cryptocurrencies will be the future of money is difficult to say, but they are surely changing the way we transact. Secondly with their growing popularity, security, and ease of transaction, they will defnately leave lasting changes in the traditional financial system.

Did You Know

Disbursement

The act of paying out money for any kind of transaction is known as disbursement. From a lending perspective this usual implies the transfer of the loan amount to the borrower. It may cover paying to operate a business, dividend payments, cash outflow etc. So if disbursements are more than revenues, then cash flow of an entity is negative, and may indicate possible insolvency.

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