What is Bitcoin? What are cryptocurrencies? You may have heard of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies like Etherium and Litecoin because of their exponential growth this year.
Starting the year at just $900 for one Bitcoin, the price has risen to just over $17,000 for one Bitcoin, as of publishing this article. There are certainly skeptics that say Bitcoin is a bubble and that it will not continue to rise. However, Bitcoin seems to defy all odds and keep climbing. In fact, former investment banker Tom Lee thinks it will be $55k within five years. Others such as James Altutcher believes that it could hit $1 million by 2020.
Whatever you think, you first need to know the basics, and that is what this article is about and that’s why I am excited for Alex from Coinpupil to share some of his insight about cryptocurrencies and how you can learn more about them! Coinpupil is dedicated to informing people on how to learn about crypto. Enjoy!
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Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are an alternative currency that can be traded and spent just like any other ordinary currency. The difference is that cryptocurrencies are digital and not controlled by the governments. Fiat currencies (US dollar, Euro, pounds, etc.) are backed by a centralized governance and backed by the government. This means they can print as much as they want and have complete control of it.
Bitcoin, which is the de-facto cryptocurrency is based on a decentralized ledger with a finite supply of 21 million total coins. This means more cannot be made. Every transaction is secured by a number of individuals while the original transaction is pseudo anonymous, secure and fast.
Due to these useful qualities, digital coins like Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Etherium are challenging conventional currency and currency transfer companies like VISA, PayPal, etc. VISA is very big, yet it has still decided to join firms like Monaco. Monaco is a debit card that gives you the ability to pay with your Bitcoins using VISA’s technology.
All of the crypto coins combined are traded in a stock-market-like virtual trading platform exchanges. The main exchanges for these are Coinbase, GDAX (Global Digital Asset Exchange), Bittrex, Bitfinex, Binance, and more. There are many reasons to invest in coins like Bitcoin and other digital currencies. The coin market has outperformed the stock exchange and commodities market combined. The profits have been especially incredible for the last few years, and the graphs show a fantastic opportunity for investment, both short-term and long-term.
However, it might be due for a correction soon. Anything that goes up will come down. The idea behind Bitcoins massive price increase is due to people understanding the advantages, fear of missing out, selling stocks or gold and putting it into cryptocurrencies.
There is still optimism in the market. It is still so new, and many people have not even thought about investing in crypto. Mass adoption hasn’t yet happened, but signs are pointing towards it. Coinbase, the leading exchange has been one of the most downloaded apps on the IOS market with Bitcoin being one of the most searched keywords.
The cryptocurrency market as a whole is only worth $350 billion. There are Bitcoin ATM’s even starting to pop up in major and small cities alike. The Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) also just announced that they will be supporting trading of Bitcoin. Bitcoin ETF’s are also the next craze with many people trying to be the first create it.
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What is Bitcoin? Well, Bitcoin is the number one cryptocurrency in the world and is kind of like the gold standard in the crypto world. The total number of Bitcoins is limited to 21 million coins, and their worth keeps increasing to post astronomical gains from last time around. Its value has increased more than 100,000 times since 2009 since it was launched and the network has overcome many scaling challenges to continue on with its stellar price increase in the process.
Bitcoin was created by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008 when the financial crisis happened. No one knows who Satoshi really is, but forum posts and the Bitcoin whitepaper refer to the economic crisis being a huge motivator. He wanted to give the power back to the people.
With Bitcoin, you can do this by controlling your own money with you being your own bank. Digital and hardware wallets are where you store your coins which can only be accessed by you. It is the longest cryptocurrency to be around with the best branding. It is the coin that most people know so it makes sense for the recent price increase.
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What is Ethereum? Well, Ethereum is another cryptocurrency that is based on a different blockchain network. It is the second-largest cryptocurrency in the world and offers impressive returns for any potential investors. Ethereum has a stable demand in the future. The demand of Ethereum is due to it being a platform for other cryptocurrencies who want to use the token system. This means they can build decentralized apps and organizations on Ethereums network. Basically, the Ethereum blockchain can be used to launch new coins on the market, and that is why the price of Ethereum continues to post fantastic gains. The native currency is called Ether and is represented by ETH in the coin market. ETH can be brought against BTC and USD in the coin market. It is created by Vitalik Buterin, who is considered a young genius in this space.
Litecoin is also a popular cryptocurrency that is a regular among the top five cryptocurrencies in the world. The reason is that it offers everything that Bitcoin offers but with increased liquidity, higher transaction fees, and easier mining (earning new tokens) process. It is always an excellent coin to invest in because it is only the second coin after Bitcoin itself to be generally bought independently on its own rather than being traded on Bitcoin only.
The great thing is Litecoin is also known to be the silver to Bitcoins gold and is not a competitor of it but meant to be used alongside with it.
Purchasing everyday items should not be done with Bitcoin since it has high fees and a slow network, so Litecoin was created to be used for that. It is also the testing bed for Bitcoin. Extra layers of security and technology are usually tested on Litecoin first before introduced to Bitcoin. It is traded on the major exchanges and is created by Charlie Lee. Another genius who first started working in Google then went to work at Coinbase and has since left to pursue his dreams independently with the advancement of Litecoin.
Now that you can answer the question, “what is Bitcoin” and “what are cryptocurrencies” you have to decide if investing in them is right for you. Investing in cryptocurrencies can be very dangerous. Since the technology is so new, I advise anyone who is interested in putting some money into any of the coins listed above to do your own research. By no means is this article suggesting you put any of your money into these funds. This article hopefully is the starting place for your deeper dive on learning more about Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Etherium. Until then, keep an eye on Bitcoin with the handy free iPhone app Coinbase. I use it to check on the price of Bitcoin and put a few dollars in just for fun. Afterall, I’m not banking on any of these as my primary investment strategy, but I’ve also made a few hundred bucks on the side just putting some money in and leaving it.
Now that you know what Bitcoin is, how do you buy it? Many people have waited to buy it because they don’t think it’s sticking around, and that’s okay! As I mentioned, I have been dabbling in it for the past few months.
So I’m going to share with you what I use and love using to buy Bitcoin. It’s called Coinbase.
If you want to invest in Bitcoin, Ethereum, or Litecoin (three of the most popular cryptos), I recommend going with Coinbase.
Coinbase is the top platform being used today to buy and sell Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin.
Here’s the thing, if you sign up using my referral address (link below), I will get a $10 referral stipend if you spend $100 on Coinbase.
The cool part is that you will also get $10 in Bitcoin, so so we both benefit.
I doubt this will make either of us millionaires but I’m simply offering this because I like using Coinbase and if it can benefit you as well as me, then why not recommend it?
Coinbase is probably the most hassle-free way to start investing in bitcoin that I know of. Setting up your account takes a few minutes but if you put some time into it you can own Bitcoin today! Oh, and one last thing, the best part about Coinbase is that you don't have to buy a whole Bitcoin for ($17,000) you can buy fractions of a coin. So check out the link below to get started and email me if you have any questions!
Author Bio: Alex M. Alex has been very deep in the cryptocurrency space for the last 3 years soaking in everything there is to know. With such a new industry popping up, Alex is continuously sharing the latest news and updates in cryptocurrencies on CoinPupil. To learn more about him and his work, read here.
Also published on Medium.
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