Cryptocurrencies have become very popular among people, especially investors around the world in recent times. One of these, Bitcoin, has increased in value in leaps and bounds giving increased from $2500 in the middle of 2017 to nearly $16000 at present. This increase in value is almost insane according to many experts as they feel that cryptocurrencies are not based upon sound fiscal principles. It is a bubble that is surely to burst in the time to come and that time is not too far away. But crazy investors, filled with greed, are not paying any heed to the warning signs highlighted by financial experts. They want to make the most of the rising price of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
There are some like billionaire Cameron Winklevoss, who has made a fortune by trading in cryptocurrencies, that these virtual currencies are gold unto themselves. He believes that Bitcoin is gold 2.0 and it has the potential to upstage gold as the most precious asset in future. Already, market capitalization of Bitcoin has risen to $300 billion. Only future will tell whether Bitcoin takes over gold which has a market capitalization of $300 trillion or it fizzles out as fool’s gold.
What is Bitcoin?
Despite the fact that Bitcoin and its meteoric rise in value has been making headlines in newspapers and internet in recent times, there are many curious people who do not know what it is. It is a kind of cryptocurrency or digital currency that is not regulated by a government or a bank. This decentralized currency is also used as a payment system without an administrator keeping track of these transactions. Bitcoin was invented by an alias with a name of Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009. It can be used to buy products and services and to pay online also. But it is the trading of this cryptocurrency and the way investors are getting rich overnight with Bitcoin that has become the talk of the town. Among cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin is the most popular and also in highest circulation.
Types of cryptocurrencies available
While Bitcoin is the most popular crypto currency around, there are many other cryptocurrencies that have emerged in the last few years. All these digital currencies have come into existence because of the sudden emergence and near domination of Bitcoin. The following are some of the popular cryptocurrencies being circulated around the world in addition to Bitcoin.
Ethereum is a cryptocurrency that has captured the imagination of the investors around the world these days. Its network is referred to as Ethereum and this currency is receiving the love of the people because of its feature of smart contract. The value of Ether right now is $973.84 and its market capitalization is around $95 billion.
Litecoin is an offshoot of Bitcoin. It has become popular because of its lightning fast settlement that takes just 2.5 minutes as compared to 10 minutes for Bitcoin settlement. You can buy and sell Litecoin like other currencies at Coinbase, a currency exchange. The current value of Litecoin is $175. 47 and its market capitalization stands at $9.6 billion.
Tron is a digital currency that has become popular among creative people. Singers and musicians can use this currency to share their work with their fans as they do not need a centralized service for this objective. Justice Sun founded this crypto currency which has a market capitalization of $4.4 billion. Tron is valued at $0.06.
Neo is a smart digital currency for the movement of digital assets while keeping digital identity safe. Neo has a value of $118.62 and a market capitalization of $7.7 billion. Neo is loved by users for its smart contracts that allow for smooth movement.
Stellar was created with the aim to make movement of money easier across banks, payment systems and common people. Its founder is Jed McCaleb who is credited with selling the first Bitcoin exchange called Mt. Gox. He later founded Ripple. The crypto currency used under Stellar is Lumens. Stellar has a market capitalization of $8.1 billion.
All other cryptocurrencies are in defiance of the banking system but Ripple is one digital currency that works in tandem with banks and merely aims to facilitate global payments. The crypto currency under Ripple is XRP and it is being used by top 5 money transfer companies of the world at present. It has a value of $1.21 and market capitalization of $47 billion.
Zcash is an open source digital currency launched in 2016. It is loved by users because of the transparency and privacy it accords to them. Transactions in this crypto currency are published and recorded on blockchain though the name of the recipient and the sender and also the amount are removed from this record.
Among all cryptocurrencies, it is Bitcoin that is most popular and loved by investors the most. It is far ahead of all other cryptocurrencies when it comes to its value, market capitalization, and the user base. Blockchain, which is the underlying technology of this most popular crypto currency, is being used by most other cryptocurrencies around the world. Although the owner cannot have them in his pocket, he can feel as if he has gold in his pocket as he can trade in Bitcoin easily. Also, with no need to keep your Bitcoins safely inside a vault of the bank, you feel very safe. Your wealth is only yours and you do not pay any taxes on its storage or movement which is the case with all other currencies. You can trade your Bitcoins and transfer them from your wallet to the wallet of any other person or company. You can also use them to buy goods and services offline and online. Trading is the biggest benefit of Bitcoins. Buying Bitcoins now may be a costly proposition but the way its value is increasing with each passing day, you can easily make a fortune for yourself by investing your money in Bitcoin.
The future of Bitcoin
There are divergent views and opinions about the future of Bitcoin among experts. There are many individuals who are happy with its meteoric rise and near domination in the world of cryptocurrencies. They say this digital currency has a very bright future. On the other hand there is no dearth of cynics who feel that Bitcoin is doomed as governments around the world are feeling uneasy because of its unfettered use and circulation. But even if Bitcoin has an unclear future, there is no harm in making the hay when the sun is shining bright.
Bitcoin is currently leading the pack of cryptocurrencies and all other digital currencies are collectively referred to as altcoins. This alone is clear proof of the fact that Bitcoin is here to stay and help those who want to invest their money in a profitable venture. Bit coin is also a payment system for all these which don’t want their transactions governed or regulated by banks and their governments. It is an asset that allows you to create wealth without making any effort.