Should you be Taking the Time to Learn about Cryptocurrencies?
“Bitcoin” (CC BY 2.0) by CreditRepairExpert
Need something to do today? How about researching and learning about a new currency which could be about to take the world by storm? You may have heard of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, but your knowledge of them may only stretch to the fact that they are a new form of paying for things. Well, it might be time to learn a bit more because some people believe that this is the future, and in a few years’ time, everyone will be using an e-currency for online transactions.
Bitcoin is where it all began, and there is no doubt that the coin invented by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009 is still the biggest cryptocurrency out there. It runs on a thing a called a blockchain, which is a ledger for storing every single transaction. This means it can be decentralised and doesn’t require banks. It has the potential to be a much more effective and efficient way of transferring money between different countries and for use with online payments.
At the end of 2017, the value of bitcoin soared to previously unprecedented heights. In fact, after being almost worthless a few years ago, it peaked at nearly $20,000. This year, though, bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have lost value as investors have dumped during the spikes. Despite performing poorer this year, the crypto craze is not slowing down. In fact, the number of businesses beginning to accept crypto payments is increasing. The online casino industry is one sector which is embracing the new technology, and sites that support playing with bitcoins are on the rise. Some companies, such as Bitstarz even offer bonuses of up to 5BTC.
One reason the crypto market has been in decline this year could be the fact that nobody is really sure which one will prevail at the moment. While bitcoin was the first, there are many other altcoins which could be better alternatives and may enjoy mass adoption in the years to come. The current situation feels similar to past competitions between brands, such as VHS and Betamax, or Myspace and Facebook. But the way technology is heading, it would be safe to assume that there could one day be a global currency. The question is: which one?
Society has been moving towards becoming cashless for a while now. In fact, a survey conducted on Americans in 2013 found that only 14 percent of respondents used cash for everyday purchases. More tellingly for the future, 100 percent of 18-24-year-olds reported using a card for everyday purchases. This highlights the potential for a currency which solely exists online and doesn’t require the user to carry cash. The big step for cryptocurrencies is to get people to realise that they are safe and secure. The public is used to relying on a bank to keep their assets safe, but this is, in fact, a misplaced trust. If a bank goes bankrupt, customers are at risk of losing everything.
Take the time to learn about cryptocurrencies today, and you will find yourself getting excited about what the future holds for internet payments.