With a plethora of information at our fingertips, and an industry built on blockchain booming by the minute, let’s dive into some facts regarding the digital currency world.
Cryptocurrencies are digital assets created to facilitate the sale, purchase or trade of goods between parties. These virtual currencies use encrypted coding to secure and verify transactions, eradicating the need for third parties. There are a significant number of digital currencies on the market (2071 at time of writing) generating a total market value of over $135 billion!
You can read through our Cryptocurrency 101 for more digital currency facts
In 2009, Satoshi Nakamoto launched the first digital currency, Bitcoin. While Bitcoin dominates 51.6% of the market, nobody knows who is behind the pseudonym. It is speculated that the person behind the anonymity could be a man, woman or even an organisation. Whoever it may be, it’s worth noting that their intention was never to create an industry, only to develop a decentralised cash system.
The digital currency world is fond of making very small denominations of their currencies. They even name them: Bitcoin has a Satoshi, Ethereum (Ether) has a Wei and Ripple has a Drop. We’ve listed below just how many decimal places these denominations represent: 0.0000000000000000000000000001 Ether = 1 Wei
0.000000001 Bitcoin = 1 Satoshi
0.000001 XRP = 1 Drop
As the world of cryptocurrency works off a decentralised network, there is no one organisation that holds your information. If you lose your wallet and didn’t secure your private key it is gone forever and you will no longer have access to your cryptocoins. There are numerous horror stories of lost Bitcoins amounting to millions!
While the adoption of digital currency increases by the minute, not everyone is legally allowed to partake in this new phenomenon. The governments in China, Russia, Vietnam, Bolivia, Columbia and Ecuador have all banned the use of cryptocurrencies, maintaining that it is not a legitimate payment method or regulated as an investment.
Blockchain makes it easy to store and transact digital currencies. As all transactions are stored on this decentralised ledger, they are transparent and it is possible for anyone to view them. The transactions however remain anonymous, unless you know the identity behind the wallet key. Making them difficult to trace. Difficult but not impossible. In 2013, by tracing back the transactions of the culprit, the FBI managed to shut down the black market site, Silk Road.
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