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It’s on the news, in the papers, it’s all over the internet! I speak of course of cryptocurrency! From two of the biggest bitcoin owners, to the official number of bitcoins in existence, we count 8 things you should know about cryptocurrency!
8. It’s very unpredictable.
Whatever money you have in your hand, be it dollar, pound sterling, euro or yen, it might fluctuate a bit depending on what the exchange estimate its valued at at this current time. If you go and exchange 10 dollars for pounds, you may get a slightly different amount of money back one week to the next, as it is all dependent on what is happening around the world and in countries separate economies. Cryptocurrencies are much more volatile than these tiny little changes, their value can fluctuate extremely easily, and by a lot of value at a time! For example Bitcoin hit its current peak at around Christmas last year, with its average daily price rising to near $20,000! It now stands at just under $9000 which is a massive fluctuation in value. Because bitcoin is not a centralised currency (meaning its not owned by a bank or governing body), there is no way of regulating its value. And things like a country regulating its members use of bitcoin can effect value greatly.
7. There is more than one cryptocurrency!
Bitcoin is the cryptocurrency that even your mum probably knows about by now! It’s swept through the news and the papers and everyone is slightly familiar with its name and what it consists of. But, don’t be fooled into thinking that this is the only cryptocurrency you need to keep your eye on, there are actually quite a few out there! There is Litecoin, that one was made in 2011 and is standing at around £93 and offers a faster transaction confirmation than Bitcoin. Ethereum is another one, this one was very late to the party, but is currently gaining popularity and enables Smart Contracts and Distributed Applications to be built and run without any downtime, fraud, control or interference from a third party. Dash, formerly known as Darkcoin, is one that has been made extremely hard to trace. So they all have their separate little advantages and disadvantages. And though Bitcoin is the big dog at the moment, it’s important to keep up to date on these ones too.
6. It can be used to buy things from the deep web
A lot of cryptocurrencies popularity spawns from the fact that they are designed to be decentralised global currencies. This means that no one government has control over them and nobody can implement any regulation against them effectively. What this also means, is that bitcoin, dash or ethereum can be used to purchase things from the deep web. The deep web, or invisible web is the parts of the internet not reachable from the search engines your are common with, such as Google or Bing. The deep web consists of cracking a lot of passworded content and things like that, but if you do it right, with the right software you can enter shopping sites for drugs, guns, other weapons even undisclosed services too. Cryptocurrency is extremely popular on these sorts of sites because a lot of them are extremely hard to trace given that it’s not centralised in a country at all.
You know when you buy something from Amazon that you’ll sure you’ll like, it comes in the post and you’re so excited you tear it open… and it’s nothing like it said it would be, or part of it is broken. Usually, if everything goes right, you can contact the seller and reverse your purchase, you send them back the product and they are able to refund you your money. Well, don’t expect any such happenings when dealing with Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency. Any exchange made using currency based solely online is completely irreversible, and when I say irreversible, I mean it. Absolutely no one can reverse it, not you, not me, not the police, not your neighbour, not even the inventor of Bitcoin! This speaks to the main aspect of cryptocurrencies, and that is that they are completely unpredictable, and very very volatile, there is really no safety net for those trading or mining currency online.
4. Its free from the trials and tribulations of politics!
Cast your mind back to the summer of 2016, if you’re from Britain from that conglomerate and deciding to govern themselves completely independently! Though the future of Britain is unclear even now, many will remember the pound dropped significantly against other currencies! It literally looked like a cliff on the currency exchange! People were extremely scared about the results of something like this, but the pound did slowly sort itself out. Whether it was the right decision or not, this is a classic case..