Updated: May 6
Barter system to banknotes; coins to crypto. Money has evolved and how! Change creates confusion but becomes a constant factor over time. Cryptocurrency is no different. A decade ago, it was an unknown quantity. However, it gained momentum to a global crypto market cap is $1.65T*. 300 million crypto users at present. So what’s the fuss about crypto and what made so many people jump on the bandwagon? Let’s find out.
In simple words, cryptocurrency is a virtual currency. No hard cash, no notes – just digital coins and tokens. We can access crypto strictly through an online medium. It is decentralized and does not have any regulating body. A public ledger online records every transaction to avoid duplication and ensure safety. Unlike banks that have a centralized ledger, every crypto owner can access this digital ledger and monitor the transactions.
Safe to buy
Buying cryptocurrency involves a simple process.
Contact a broker or an online exchange.
Create an account.
Make payment to invest.
Place your order.
Crypto is yours; stored in your crypto-wallet.
For utmost safety, choose a reliable medium. Ensure they have strict verification and authentication measures in place.
What’s the use?
Whether it’s real money or not is debatable but cryptocurrency is fast becoming an alternative to hard cash.
You can use it to buy products or services, book tickets, or even make reservations in a hotel. Conditions apply as not all outlets acknowledge this mode of payment. Reportedly, 18,000 companies around the world are currently accepting cryptocurrency.
Transfer money at a lower cost and higher speed. It’s a peer-to-peer payment using blockchain technology. No questions asked. You have complete control over your investments.
Profitable return on investments. The crypto market size is expected to rise to $1087.7 million in the next four years, according to sources.
The first cryptocurrency - Bitcoin - was first launched in 2009. Today, there are over 12,000 types of cryptocurrency that are traded across 200 crypto exchanges. Some of the most popular are Ethereum, Tether, and Binance Coin among others. What’s the reason for this phenomenal rise?
Acceptance, returns, and endorsements.
With more platforms accepting crypto payments, people overcame the initial resistance and started investing in crypto. Its popularity received a big boost when bigwigs like Elon Musk and Bill Gates started endorsing the system. Many became millionaires overnight and their rags-to-riches stories lured more people into the crypto world.
At 18, United Kingdom’s Erik Finman became the youngest Bitcoin billionaire. With an estimated worth of $65 billion, Binance founder Changpeng Zhao is now the wealthiest person in crypto. As of 2022, 46 million Americans have invested in Bitcoin alone.
The ‘dark’ side
Cryptocurrency has undoubtedly been a game-changer. However, it also has its share of shortcomings. In some countries, its legality is under question. If you don’t choose a reliable platform, you can fall prey to hackers. It has simultaneously gained popularity on the dark web, which is a hunting ground for illicit trade.
Investment and risk go hand in hand. Crypto cannot be generalized as a risky business as termed by many traditionalists. The crypto market has grown exponentially but has also become taxable. Invest wisely and become a millionaire overnight or convert cash to virtual currency and use it to buy a pizza. The choice is yours.