In the first days of its launch in 2009, several thousand bitcoins were used to buy pizza. Since then, the rapid rise of cryptocurrency to $ 65,000 in April 2021 after losing heart in mid-2018, falling about 70 percent to about $ 6,000, has stunned the minds of many people – cryptocurrency investors, traders or just curious. missed the boat.
How it all started
Keep in mind that dissatisfaction with the current financial system has led to the development of digital currency. The development of this cryptocurrency is based on the Satoshi Nakamoto blockchain technology, an alias that is apparently used by a developer or group of developers.
Despite many opinions predicting the death of cryptocurrencies, the performance of bitcoin has inspired the creation of many other digital currencies, especially in recent years. The success of crowdfunding caused by the blockchain fever has also attracted those to deceive unsuspecting audiences, and it has attracted the attention of regulators.
Bitcoin has inspired the launch of many other digital currencies. There are currently over 1,000 versions of digital coins or tokens. Not all of them are the same, and their values are very different, as is their liquidity.
Coins, altcoins and tokens
At this point, suffice it to say that there are subtle differences between coins, altcoins, and tokens. Altcoins or alternative coins usually describe things other than the original bitcoin, although altcoins such as etherium, lightcoin, ripple, dogecoin and dash are considered the “main” category of coins, meaning they are traded on more cryptocurrency exchanges.
Coins serve as currency or a repository of valuables, while tokens offer the use of assets or useful assets, an example being a blockchain service to manage supply chains to check and track wine products from the distillery to the consumer.
It’s worth noting that low-value tokens or coins offer opportunities to raise, but don’t expect similar flatulence growth like bitcoin. Simply put, lesser known tokens are easy to buy but hard to sell.
Before embarking on cryptocurrency, start by studying the value and technological considerations, namely the commercial strategies outlined in the White Paper that accompanies each initial coin offering or ICO.
For those familiar with stocks and stocks, this is not unlike an initial public offering or IPO. However, IPOs are issued by companies with tangible assets and business experience. All this is done in a regulated environment. On the other hand, the ICO is based solely on the idea proposed in the White Paper by an enterprise that is not yet operational and without assets, which is looking for funds to launch.
Unregulated, so buyers be careful
“It is impossible to regulate what is unknown,” – probably summarizes the situation with digital currency. Regulators and regulators are still trying to catch up with cryptocurrencies that are constantly evolving. The golden rule in cryptospace is “caveat emptor”, let the buyer beware.
Some countries openly adopt policies to deviate from cryptocurrencies and blockchain applications, while monitoring for open fraud. However, there are regulators in other countries who are more concerned with the pros than the pros of digital money. Regulators typically understand the need to maintain balance, and some are reviewing existing securities laws to try to deal with the many varieties of cryptocurrencies around the world.
Digital wallets: the first step
A wallet is needed to get started in cryptocurrency. Think of e-banking, but minus the protection of the law in the case of virtual currency, so security is the first and last thought in cryptospace.
Digital type wallets. There are two types of wallets.
Hot wallets are connected to the internet, exposing users to the risk of hacking
Cold wallets that are not connected to the internet and are considered safer.
Apart from the two main types of wallets, it should be noted that there are wallets for only one cryptocurrency and others for several cryptocurrencies. It is also possible to have a wallet with multiple signatures, something like a joint bank account.
The choice of wallet depends on the user’s preferences, whether he is interested exclusively in bitcoin or etherium, as each coin has its own wallet, or you can use a third-party wallet that includes security features.
Notes in the wallet
The cryptocurrency wallet has a public and private key with personal transaction records. The public key includes a link to the account or cryptocurrency address, as opposed to the name required to receive the check payment.
The public key is available to everyone, but transactions are only confirmed after verification and verification based on a consensus mechanism that applies to each cryptocurrency.
The private key can be considered a PIN code, which is commonly used in electronic financial transactions. It follows that the user should never give out a private key to anyone and make backup copies of this data, which should be stored offline.
On a hot wallet it makes sense to have a minimum of cryptocurrency, and in a cold wallet more. Losing a private key equals losing a cryptocurrency! The usual precautions are applied to online financial transactions: from strong passwords to malware and phishing alerts.
Different types of wallets are available according to individual preferences.
Hardware wallets made by third parties that need to be purchased. These devices work like a USB device that is considered secure and only connects to the Internet when needed.
Web wallets provided by, for example, cryptocurrencies are considered hot wallets that put users at risk.
Software wallets for desktops or mobile phones are mostly available for free and can be provided by coin issuers or third parties.
Paper wallets can be printed with relevant data on cryptocurrency owned with public and private keys in QR code format. They need to be kept in a safe place until they are needed during a crypto transaction, and copies should be made in case of accidents such as water damage or printed data over time.
Crypto exchanges and marketplaces
Cryptocurrencies are trading platforms for those who are interested in virtual currencies. Other options include websites for direct trade between buyers and sellers, as well as brokers where there is no “market” price, but it is based on a trade-off between the parties to the transaction.
Thus, there are many crypto exchanges located in different countries, but with different standards of security practices and infrastructure. They range from those that allow anonymous registration, which only requires email to open an account and start trading. However, there are others that require users to comply with international authentication measures, known as Know-Your-Customer, and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) measures.
The choice of crypto-exchange depends on the preferences of users, but anonymous may have restrictions on the amount of trade allowed or fall under sudden new rules in the host country of the exchange. Minimum administrative procedures with anonymous registration allow users to start trading quickly, and the KYC and AML processes will take longer.
All crypto transactions must be properly processed and verified, which can take from a few minutes to several hours, depending on the coins or tokens being traded and the volume of the trade. It is known that the problem of scalability is a problem of cryptocurrencies, and developers are working to find a solution.
Cryptocurrency exchanges are divided into two categories.
Fiat cryptocurrency Such exchanges provide for the purchase of fiat cryptocurrency by direct transfers from bank or credit and debit cards, as well as through ATMs in some countries.
Only cryptocurrency. There are cryptocurrency exchanges that deal only with cryptocurrency, which means that customers must already own cryptocurrency – such as bitcoin or etherium – to “exchange” for other coins or tokens, based on the market rate.
Fees are levied to facilitate the buying and selling of cryptocurrencies. Users need to conduct a survey to be satisfied with the infrastructure and security measures, and to determine the tariffs that are convenient for them, as different rates are charged on different exchanges.
Don’t expect a total market price for the same cryptocurrency with differences. You may want to spend time researching the best price for coins and tokens that interest you.
Financial transactions on the Internet carry risks, and users should consider precautions such as two-factor authentication or 2-FA, be aware of the latest security measures and be aware of phishing scams. One of the golden rules of phishing is not to click on the provided links, no matter how authentic the message or email is.