For many decades, banks across the globe have held a massive monopoly over the most important commodity on earth: money. The emergence of Bitcoin in 2009, a peer-to-peer electronic cash system, as defined by its creator Satoshi Nakamoto, aims to revolutionize and disrupt corporate finance as we know it by de-centralizing lending and removing the need for middlemen.
Bitcoin – it’s a virtual currency created by computer code. Each Bitcoin comes with its own coding. You can set up virtual online wallets to track your Bitcoin purse known as ‘Blockchain’. The cryptocurrency is used to buy and sell, without the added fuss of middle-men. It’s a bit like buying your currency for your holidays without having to go through a travel agent’s or post office’s cashier. You don’t pay the added extras for their costs of giving you the money: instead you just pay the money to the person. This is a great way to save. To obtain a Bitcoin, a user must have a Bitcoin address – which is a string of 27-34 letters and numbers – acting like a virtual postbox. Since there is no register of these addresses, people can use them to protect their anonymity when making a transaction, which is an attractive reason to trade with Bitcoin.
You can purchase Bitcoin through an online exchange, and trade successfully as if you were on the stock markets. It’s a similar concept because you’re dealing in some form of money. So why did Bitcoin have some spectacular falls during the last year? The same reason the stock market has a crash. If it becomes trendy, people want it and the price goes up. Someone puts out the word it’s going to crash and everyone wants to sell their Bitcoins. The fluctuating market of money in no matter what form will always fluctuate. The value of Bitcoins is only insofar as how much people are willing to pay for it. There are even sites which tell you where you can buy goods in real form via Bitcoin – here’s one from the UK.
So what is Bitcoin Cash? Derived from a ‘fork’ in Bitcoin, which worked by logging all transactions into the blockchain record, the all-new Bitcoin Cash cryptocurrency took a tangent form from this to create a ‘new’ blockchain strain, which works more quickly than the older one that could only log transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain at between three and seven logged every second. Bitcoin Cash is designed to work much slicker and allow many more transactions to be logged at a much quicker pace. It can be traded just like any other cryptocurrency and is the second most valuable after Bitcoin, followed by Ripple, Ethereum and LiteCoin. The idea of Bitcoin Cash is that more people can use it at once and trade with it.
Ethereum? Cryptokitties? Yes, apparently you can trade in cats. The ‘kitties’ are like ‘Bitcoins’. Kitties are a new application built on the Ethereum blockchain. Players can buy and sell virtual ‘cats’ for a price, as much as $10,000 and make more on their return when selling them on. The kitties are in vogue. Each cat has its own set of genes, coded as “Cattributes”. Users will make more money if their cat’s genes are appealing to other players. It’s a little like trading in a virtual Crufts for cats. Your kitty is worth more to the next person because of its rare or appealing genes. It makes trading fun, brings it into the real world like an online game and it feels more valuable. The players can make two of their own kitties breed and have a third, or they can pay another user to mate with theirs – if they’re looking for particular characteristics. It’s quite an idea, particularly if you research your trading markets beforehand.
Ripple, Litecoin and IOTA are founded in a similar vein. Ripple’s total market capital is now valued at £95 billion. The number of tokens available in Bitcoin and in Ripple is a key factor in Ripple’s success. Currently there are just under 17 million Bitcoins, as compared to Ripple’s 40 billion. Litecoin, however, features faster transaction confirmation times and improved storage efficiency than Bitcoin. Moreover, it has even been called the natural successor to BTC. It has substantial industry support, trade volume and agility.
IOTA features on Cryptomaniac Rocks stating that it is one of many in a chain of the most listed pairings of coins on ‘Binance’. IOTA Is simply one of a lot of the ‘Internet of Things’ (IOTs) that exist. Iota is different from Bitcoin in that it removes the need to ask for dating mining to produce the Bitcoin code data. It does this by asking anyone who submits a transaction to verify two other random transactions, meaning that it decentralised, there’s no fee for transactions and the more people using Iota the faster the network becomes.
The world post-Bitcoin is ever-changing, one blink and you might miss something. You’d better keep your eye on it.