Cryptocurrencies are digital assets that use cryptography to secure transactions. Cryptography is a mathematical technique used for encryption, which allows people to send money securely from one person to another without having to go through a bank or other financial institution. The technology behind cryptocurrencies was invented in 2008 by an unknown programmer using the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto.

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The first known example of a cryptocurrency was Bitcoin, created in 2009 and released as open-source software in January 2010. In 2011, the name “Bitcoin” became commonly used to refer to the entire category of digital currency rather than any particular system, although “bitcoin” remains the name given to the original system. 

Bitcoin: Blockchain technology decentralized currency

Cryptocurrency has become increasingly popular over the past few years and some of the country use cryptocurrency as legal tender in their country. It’s not surprising why; many see it as a way to get around government control of monetary policy and banking regulations. However, there are also some downsides to this new form of payment. For instance, you may be able to avoid fees when paying with your credit card, but if you want to buy something online, you’ll have to pay a transaction fee. Also, if you don’t have access to a computer or smartphone, you can’t easily make payments.

But what makes cryptocurrencies different from regular cash, checks, debit cards, or even gift cards? Here’s how cryptocurrencies work:

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How Do Cryptocurrencies Work

There are two main types of cryptocurrencies – public and private. A public blockchain network exists on the internet and anyone can join it, while a private blockchain network operates inside a company or organization and only authorized members (known as stakeholders) are allowed to participate. Most cryptocurrencies are comprised of both public and private elements, allowing them to retain their advantages and overcome their disadvantages at the same time.

© Builtin

Public blockchains operate similar to traditional databases. This means they’re decentralized, meaning no single individual owns it. Instead, anyone connected to the network who uses computers and special software called clients can run a node to verify data, make decisions, and manage transactions. Nodes communicate with each other between themselves across the distributed database, making sure all nodes are operating correctly and processing transactions. If a node discovers that a transaction isn’t valid, then they will either reject or return the funds.

© Foley

Private blockchains give users more control over their assets. Because of this, they require much less computing power to run. Each client controls his or her own transaction history and data and can choose whether or not to allow others to view such information. Transactions can be made directly on the chain without going through a third party like wallets do. With the Ethereum protocol, however, it’s impossible to remove information about transactions once it gets into the blockchain since every change requires someone else’s permission. To ensure privacy, individuals can create multiple addresses for sending coins. They can also encrypt their transactions using specialized programs so that only people with specific key codes can read and process the messages. These technologies help keep transactions secure by preventing fraud and theft.

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Cryptocurrency examples

Among, thousands of cryptocurrencies some of the popular cryptocurrencies are Bitcoin and Ethereum. Bitcoin is an open-source peer-to-peer electronic payments system first described in 2008. Bitcoin was invented by pseudonymous developer Satoshi Nakamoto and released as open source software in 2009. On 9 August 2017, a hard fork took place which created a new coin, Bitcoin Cash. Unlike traditional paper currency, bitcoins are issued and managed independently of any central authority whatsoever: there is no governmental oversight nor any human intervention limit beyond the rules set out in the bitcoin whitepaper, although the US Government does exert influence over its design.

Bitcoins are created as a reward for a complex math puzzle known as mining.

The New York Times

In exchange for those rewards, miners incorporate the latest news, handling and analysis, turning it into something many of their customers might find interesting.” There is some disagreement within the community regarding how to define and measure value. Some argue that there is little or nothing backing the value of a bitcoin because bitcoins were never intended to become a medium of exchange; rather, they were designed to work as a form of digital gold, analogous to gold. To put it differently, a bitcoin represents wealth parceled up in mathematical terms.

Stack of cryptocurrencies

Ethereum is another one, though it doesn’t have nearly the market cap of Bitcoin as it is still small in comparison. Ethereum has the largest mining network (in both hash rate and electricity consumption) due to being ASIC resistant and having a proof of stake consensus mechanism. It also has a very strong development team behind it. As mentioned earlier, Ethereum is a decentralized platform that runs smart contracts: applications that run exactly as programmed without possibility of downtime, censorship, fraud or third-party interference.

Ripple is the another cryptocurrency which has grown massively with more than 60 financial institutions using its blockchain product including UK banks Barclays, RBS and Santander, UBS, American payments company MoneyGram International Inc and Canadian bank CIBC. XRP has grown in popularity amongst traders because unlike most cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin or Ethereum, Ripple is a decentralized and trustless system. You can send money instantly across borders and borders between currencies too. Plus, you don’t need to hold your own private keys – just log in via the official site to access them. The only situation where you may lose funds is if hackers breach their servers which is unlikely considering their level of security.

In order to combat spam accounts and bots, Facebook announced on January 31st 2018 that they will be introducing strict regulations against crypto accounts and ICOs promoting scams or phishing websites. If this goes through, Facebook could potentially block all ads related to Initial Coin Offerings and cryptocurrencies. Many people think that Facebook is going to ban all advertising for cryptocurrencies but this statement has not yet been confirmed.


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What is a Blockchain

Blockchain is a decentralized technology that uses distributed ledgers to store data and transfer value. It was first introduced in 2008 by Dr. Satoshi Nakamoto, who published the white paper describing Bitcoin or as it’s commonly referred to “the blockchain” or blockchain technology. These are chains of blocks where transactions between users can be recorded. The blocks also record information about the transaction so it cannot be altered. This means that all copies of the ledger are connected to each other.

Cryptocurrency mining rig PCIe riser extenders plugged to motherboard

The idea behind a blockchain is that you can use them for many different purposes including money transfers, trade, voting (or rather verifying votes), ownership rights, digital payment etc.

The main difference between traditional databases and blockchains is that, when we have a database, one single entity owns the information and everyone else must agree to change values stored there. In fact, any changes made to the database require the agreement of every party. Also, once somebody publishes a piece of data no one can delete it unless he decides to do so himself. On the other hand, when it comes to blockchain, there is what is called a public ledger. This means that anyone can see all the entries in the chain of blocks. But, at the same time they are free to remove data that does not match their vision of how things should work.

How to store cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency exchange are essentially online stock exchange platforms that allow trading of digital assets. While there are plenty of different types of cryptocurrency wallets out there ranging from web-based services like Blockchain to mobile apps, how do they work? Here’s everything you want to know about what makes up a cryptocurrency wallet, along with several methods of storing your coins.

Crypto Hard Wallet

This is why every time someone wants to purchase something that requires bitcoin, they usually have to buy some first. They go to an ATM and withdraw money from their traditional banking account, then use that to buy bitcoins either through peer-to-peer sites like Binance, Coinbase, or, or hosted services like VirWox (closed). Essentially, these acquirers act as middlemen between those who wish to sell bitcoins and those who wish to buy them.

© Binance Cryptocurrency Exchange

There are three general categories of storage devices: paper wallets ( offline), cold storage, and hot storage (digital wallet). Paper wallets create a permanent record of bitcoin ownership without requiring internet connectivity. Cold storage devices are hardware wallets that require physical access to the device for transactions. They’re generally very safe, but rely on third parties for backup and must be plugged into a power source. Hot storage occurs when bitcoins are stored online. In all three cases, access to the key(s) allows anyone to spend the bitcoins owned by whoever stores it.

© SafeMoon Wallet

How to mine Crypto?

Bitcoin miners are rewarded with transaction fees which they can use to buy more computing power and pay for electricity costs. The way the mining process works is by finding a block that satisfies certain parameters and once found, the miner gets rewarded with 25 bitcoins for solving it.

Cryptocurrencies 6 mining rig components

The reward drops over time as more blocks in the chain become solved. Miners who solve blocks faster get rewarded more than those who take longer. The competition for these rewards has driven down the cost of running a bitcoin mining operation to an extent where you might not even need a supercomputer or thousands of dollars worth of equipment if you’re willing to put in some work.

There are currently around 300 million coins distributed across all addresses in existence and this number keeps growing as new coins continue to be generated.

Mining became significantly more complicated due to ASIC technology designed specifically to make Bitcoin mining easier. These machines are very efficient at completing hashing algorithms and were built specifically to mine Bitcoins.

Mining difficulty has been increasing steadily since 2013, reaching its highest level ever recorded in late 2017. This increase in difficulty has caused a steady decrease in profitability for Bitcoin miners worldwide. As a result, many companies have shifted away from producing hardware that mines Bitcoin and instead move towards alternative cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum and Monero. While the profitability per unit of electricity decreases in this process, the total amount of currency mined increases because the hash rate stays relatively stable while the network becomes increasingly difficult. 

Cryptocurrency mining rig using graphic cards to mine for digital cryptocurrency such as bitcoin, ethereum and other altcoins.

For a long time, all Bitcoin transactions required CPU processing time due to the heavy computational load involved in proof-of-work used by blockchain validation. However, starting approximately mid-2018, ASICs replaced GPUs as the preferred solution for validating the blockchain. The shift to ASICs was necessitated by the massive increase in popularity around Bitcoin and other related currencies during the halving period. Because of the higher centralization and increased demand, the SHA256 algorithm used for validation needed a greater capacity to facilitate peak usage. With the introduction of specialized hardware and corresponding rise in manufacturing costs, the price of Bitcoin began to fall, forcing several large scale investors out of the market. 

Proof of Work vs Proof of Stake: The Case for PoS

© Durwin Ho

Proof of stake is often seen as a new model for the future, with lots of promise. But it also has some drawbacks that make it problematic to adopt for many use cases — while proof of work remains the dominant consensus mechanism in Bitcoin and other blockchains.

The basic idea behind proof of work (PoW) is to have a limited supply of “mined” coins which are distributed every 10 minutes or so to whoever has solved a cryptographic puzzle (the Bitcoin miners). The puzzles can be hard enough to deter just about anyone from trying but not too hard to prevent people from solving them all together.

This makes blocks more scarce than they otherwise would be by simply letting time pass, making the system resistant against inflation. In addition, there’s little incentive to cheat on the puzzle, unlike with something like a lottery ticket purchase. It’s possible to try to subvert the system by generating hundreds of billions of different hashes, but each one takes up so much energy – that’s a lot of power consumption.

What’s wrong with Proof of Stake

In effect, proof of stake is no better or worse than traditional consensus mechanisms. Either way, a group of trusted parties gets together to agree on what to do. The difference lies in how the consensus mechanisms allocate tokens. The problem with PoW is that it gives control of the token distribution to the fewest number of actors available. Since there’s only 21 million Bitcoins in existence, if you need more than half of all these coins then you’re working with a very small pool of actors who might collude.

There’s also the risk of an attack where someone finds a clever way to generate a huge number of proofs of work for the same bitcoin address. They could then mine their own bitcoins without paying any fees to the actual owners and claim themselves as the rightful owner. That would probably get detected quickly, but you’d still end up with double spending issues.

© Daniela Mechkaroska

In the case of proof of stake the potential attack surface area is dramatically reduced, since there is only one key player responsible for creating new tokens. And even though the chances of collusion become less likely, there is still the possibility that a single actor controls almost the entire network. All those problems don’t exist in the proof of work context.

So… There’s really nothing special about Proof of Stake. Both types of systems are essentially built on the same set of principles with minor tweaks. Which makes sense because both methods rely on the same principle: trusting the participants involved.

Proof of stake ensures fairness because nobody can gain undue advantage by providing false information. In contrast, when miners compete by producing hashpower, they can manipulate the outcome by deviating from the truth and gaming the system by providing false information.

Proof of stake allows us to avoid miners’ attacks by requiring that everyone prove at least X amount of value before claiming ownership in a block. These values range between $0.0001 and $10000000000 per coin, depending on how many tokens a miner holds. This helps ensure that the mining community remains honest.

Proof-of-work, however, is the primary method used because it is much harder to rig than proof-of-stake. If we allow miners to create arbitrary blocks without verification, they can easily game the system by making blocks appear earlier than others for no cost whatsoever. As long as this occurs regularly, we will never arrive at a fair situation, no matter how much hashing power we assign to the miners in question.

Difference between Stock market investment and Crypto market investment?

Stock Market Trader

There are many people who have invested in the stock markets for a number of years. Some people consider that they’re an excellent investment option, as it is possible to make money from investing in stocks. There are also those people who have had some experience in cryptocurrency, but still find out that it wasn’t really their cup of tea. However, there are several factors which could be used to help you decide whether investing in the cryptocurrency or the stock market would yield better results.

Both the crypto market and the stock markets are subject to great volatility, and the prices can fluctuate greatly within short periods of time. This means that sometimes you may lose more than what you gained when making investments. For example, if an investor purchased crypto currency during the beginning of 2017 and sold them off after the price dropped significantly, he or she should expect to see losses in comparison to gains made when buying the currency at a higher price. The same goes for stock markets; it has been known that shares have experienced major drops in value due to sudden changes in economic circumstances such as the US subprime mortgage crisis or the global financial crash of 2008. Thus, both crypto currencies and the stock markets can be volatile over a very short period of time, and this may cause investors to lose money.

Close up of bitcoin and cryptocurrency ordering data market exchange

On the other hand, both options have their advantages. A person who invests in cryptocurrencies could potentially benefit from not having to pay taxes, which is a big plus. Also, unlike with stock markets, one doesn’t need any special degrees or licenses to get involved in crypto trading, and anyone possessing basic knowledge about finance and technology can start making profits right away. On top of all this, a significant difference between these two types of investment is that while you can buy and sell your stocks all through the year, only certain days offer opportunities for traders to purchase coins. Moreover, there aren’t any limits on the amount of cryptos you can invest in.

Moreover, if you’re looking to invest in the stock market, you need to take into consideration issues like liquidity, management, corporate governance, etc. When dealing with assets like stocks, bonds, real estate, precious metals or foreign exchange products, you don’t need to worry about liquidity anymore, as the product itself is liquid enough. Most of the times, you’ll receive confirmation emails regarding the completion of transactions. The best managers are well capitalized, so their businesses usually stay afloat even when things around them go bad. With regards to corporate governance, the most popular exchanges do provide information regarding their operations. In terms of asset management itself, the process is pretty self-explanatory.