CryptoCurrency Facts, Myths, Tips, and Tricks

Cryptocurrency facts takes a simplified look at digital currency like bitcoin to help everyone understand what it is, how it works, and its implications. On this site, we cover everything you need to know about:

This video discusses bitcoin, but most of what they talk about here is common between all cryptocurrencies. We suggest watching this video before moving on as it gives what we consider to be one of the best explanations of bitcoin available on the internet.

What is Cryptocurrency?

Cryptocurrency¬†is a digital currency that uses encryption (cryptography) to generate money¬†and to verify transactions. Transactions are added to a public ledger ‚Äď also called a Transaction Block Chain ‚Äď and new coins are created through a process known as mining.

As of 2017, cryptocurrency has been used as a decentralized alternative to traditional fiat currencies (which are usually backed by some central government) such as the US dollar (USD).

For the average person using cryptocurrency is as easy as:

  • Get a digital wallet to store the currency.
  • Use the wallet to create unique ‚Äúpublic addresses”¬†to receive¬†currency.
  • Transfer funds in or out of your¬†wallet using public¬†addresses.

What is a cryptocurrency address?: A public address is a unique string of characters used to receive cryptocurrency. Each public address has a matching private address that can be used to prove ownership of the public address. With Bitcoin the address is called a Bitcoin address. Think of it like a unique email address that people can send currency to as opposed to emails.

The History of Cryptocurrency

The first decentralized digital cryptocurrency can be traced back to “Bit Gold”, which was worked on by Nick Szabo between 1998 and 2005. Bit gold is considered the first precursor to bitcoin. In 2008,¬†Satoshi Nakamoto (an anonymous¬†person and/or group) released a paper detailing what would become Bitcoin.

Bitcoin became the first decentralized digital coin when it was created in 2008. It¬†then went public in¬†2009. As of 2017, Bitcoin¬†is the most commonly known and used cryptocurrency (with other coins like Ethereum and Litecoin also being notable). Given the¬†popularity of Bitcoin as well as¬†its history, the term “altcoin” is sometimes used to describe alternative cryptocurrencies¬†to bitcoin (especially coins with small market caps).

As of January 2015, there were¬†over 500¬†different types of cryptocurrencies ‚Äď or altcoins ‚Äď for trade in online markets. However,¬†only 10 of them had market capitalizations over $10 million.

As of September 2017, there were over 1,100 cryptocurrencies and the total market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies reached an all-time high surpassing $60 billion!

In other words, although the future is uncertain, cryptocurrency seems to be more than just a fad. Here in 2017 cryptocurrency is shaping up a growing market that (despite its pros and cons) is likely here for the long haul.

On this site, we explore every aspect of cryptocurrency. Simply choose a page from the menu,¬†visit¬†our “what is cryptocurrency” page for a more detailed explanation of cryptocurrency, or jump right in to the “how cryptocurrency works” section to start learning about transactions, mining, and public ledgers.