Cryptocurrency – A Short Introduction

Cryptocurrency – A Short Introduction

Cryptocurrency. Bitcoin. Ethereum.

Whether you’ve read an article online or heard one of your friends speak about the price, we’ve all heard one of them mentioned at some point, haven’t we? Or for those of you who haven’t…

 

What is a Cryptocurrency and what is Bitcoin?

Early examples of cryptocurrency were first shown by an intelligent cryptographer in the 1980’s called David Chaum. He came up with an extraordinarily secure algorithm that allowed for the kind of encryption required in electronic fund transfers. Although that sounds very interesting and I’m sure you’d like to read about it all day (not!) there is a lot more to it.

Cryptocurrency is a form of digital currency. It’s encryption techniques are used to balance the generation of units of currency and verify the transfer of funds. This allows it to operate without the use of a central bank. Bitcoin is a type of cryptocurrency – almost like the way we have the Dollar, Pound and Euro. There are many different types of crypto-currencies and they’re all independent to one another. For example, Ethereum, was created after Bitcoin (August 2014) and is currently worth £149 per unit.

Growth charts for crypto-currencies are usually very fast growing . This is mainly because it is seen as a secure method of payment, and in general just an easier to work with currency. Furthermore, more people are beginning to use it. Looking at the chart below, you can see how volatile the growth is. Bitcoin went from being valued at £77 in August 2013 to an astonishing £1820  per unit today. There is no doubt that people who invested back in 2013 are living up the highlife now.

Who uses them?

Thousands of online retailers accept Bitcoin. This includes companies such as; Microsoft, Reddit, WordPress and even us. There are also many local businesses that accept Bitcoin payments over the counter too. Although this is uncommon here in the UK and the USA, Burger King in Russia have released a statement saying they will start experimenting with them later this year (find out more).

 

Will crypto-currencies be the most popular form of payment method after 2017? Maybe it’s too soon to tell, but if there’s one thing we know for certain, it is that the currency definitely attracts a wide range of tech-savvy individuals, which points to the fact that there’s a big future ahead.

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