How Cryptocurrency Works: What You Need to Know to Get Started

What is cryptocurrency, and how does it work?

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Cryptocurrency is a class of digital assets, including Bitcoin and Ethereum, that runs without a central authority. It represents a valuable instrument for online payments today and holds promising potential for the future.

Time to learn about it!

You have likely been acquainted with cryptocurrency numerous times, as its popularity has grown to such an extent that most online store proprietors are devising strategies to incorporate cryptocurrency payments. However, if cryptocurrencies are unfamiliar, we will provide you with current information through this article.

What is Cryptocurrency?

A cryptocurrency is a digital form of currency that takes the shape of tokens linked to a blockchain network. Unlike other digital data, its defining characteristic is that it lacks a specific storage location. While ordinary cloud storage can be vulnerable to hacking, this is not a concern with cryptocurrency.

Cryptography forms the basis of cryptocurrency, providing a secure means of encrypting any data. All participants in the system possess data on all transactions made with cryptocurrency stored on their computers. Hashes or strings of symbols are automatically cross-checked against each other based on specific rules and updated after each transaction. Hacking into an encrypted system is not currently feasible using modern methods.

You can learn more about the differences between fiat and cryptocurrency in our article.

Philosophy Behind Bitcoin

The emergence of digital technologies has led to an increased demand for online payment options. Consequently, various new projects have surfaced, with their numbers growing annually. However, to generate revenue, the developers of electronic payment systems imposed substantial commissions on money transfers or conversions to cash, resulting in user dissatisfaction.

In 2009, an anonymous individual named Satoshi Nakamoto proposed a solution to this problem by creating an informational electronic currency known as «Bitcoin», intended for bank-free online payments.

The Technology Behind Cryptocurrencies

The distinction between cryptocurrencies and traditional currency lies in the absence of inflation. With regular currency, the solution to insufficient funds is printing more money. Cryptocurrencies, however, have limited "coins" that cannot be increased during development. The quantity of tokens available on the market depends on those willing to mine or purchase them.

A remote blockchain database is utilized to store and execute cryptocurrency transactions. The blockchain is comprised of an uninterrupted chain of blocks containing all records of transactions completed with Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. Unlike conventional databases, these records are immutable and cannot be altered in any way; only new entries can be added.

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Pros and Cons of Crypto

The digitalization of the world has resulted in cryptocurrency being more advantageous than traditional currency. To be more specific:

  1. Tokens cannot be forged. Each token has a unique hash address containing information about all the transactions, owners, etc. It is not tied to any physical address, and government agencies cannot control the activity of virtual currency, which indicates the safety of its use.

  2. A crypto account can be opened in a matter of seconds. There is no need to wait for approval, as in the case of a bank. You can view the balance and transaction history at any time, thanks to the open system of crypto transactions.

  3. Relatively low fees. The fees for transactions on the Bitcoin network are much less than bank ones.

However, there are some disadvantages to using cryptocurrency. These include:

  1. The inability to use virtual money in some countries since operations with crypto are only allowed in some places.

  2. Scammers or other attackers often use crypto money since such a currency is almost impossible to track, so you need to remember security rules.

  3. Rapidly changing exchange rates - many factors affect the volatility of cryptocurrencies.

  4. There is frequent bankruptcy of cryptocurrency exchanges and a lack of compensation for losses when losing access to a crypto wallet.

  5. Frequent hacker attacks.

  6. The system of use may seem quite complicated for an inexperienced user.


How Does the Cryptocurrency Exchange Rate Change?

Market conditions of supply and demand directly impact the value of cryptocurrencies. Numerous factors influence the attitudes of both buyers and sellers: 

  • the volume of issue of a monetary unit;
  • technological developments underlying a particular crypto asset;
  • the function of using currency to obtain material and other benefits;
  • the adjustment of exchange rates by different states;
  • news coverage in the media.

Transactions involving the purchase and sale of coins occur on specialized exchanges, where the price is determined. While the price may fluctuate throughout the day, the exchange cannot modify the price once a transaction has commenced. Any attempt to do so would be deemed fraudulent and result in the revocation of the exchange's license and other legal consequences.

What to Buy with Crypto?

It has been widely believed that cryptocurrencies can be used to purchase a wide range of items, including everyday household products and high-value real estate. Online stores are adopting this payment option with greater frequency, and this trend will continue in the future, thereby promoting the decentralization of financial systems.

If you wish to accept payments in cryptocurrency in your online store, we invite you to sign up on our website. Our reliable and convenient crypto processing service is tailored to meet the needs of any online business, and we would be delighted to assist you in connecting with CryptoCloud.

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