- A cryptocurrency is a form of digital asset based on a network that is distributed across a large number of computers. This decentralized structure allows them to exist outside the control of governments and central authorities.
- Experts believe that blockchain and related technology will disrupt many industries, including finance and law.
- The advantages of cryptocurrencies include cheaper and faster money transfers and decentralized systems that do not collapse at a single point of failure.
- The disadvantages of cryptocurrencies include their price volatility, high energy consumption for mining activities, and use in criminal activities.
- Cryptocurrencies are digital or virtual currencies underpinned by cryptographic systems. They enable secure online payments without the use of third-party intermediaries. “Crypto” refers to the various encryption algorithms and cryptographic techniques that safeguard these entries, such as elliptical curve encryption, public-private key pairs, and hashing functions.
Bitcoin is the most popular and valuable cryptocurrency. An anonymous person called Satoshi Nakamoto invented it and introduced it to the world via a white paper in 2008. There are thousands of cryptocurrencies present in the market today.
Each cryptocurrency claims to have a different function and specification. For example, Ethereum’s ether markets itself as gas for the underlying smart contract platform. Ripple’s XRP is used by banks to facilitate transfers between different geographies.