Cryptocurrencies have taken off and are becoming more mainstream with every passing day. The issue many people have with them is that they are complicated, much more so than fiat currency. To make cryptocurrency a little less daunting, we’ve decided to explain how it works so you can feel more comfortable with it. There are 3 major components.
Cryptocurrency is based on blockchain technology, which is a sort of digital ledger that’s shared among the computer systems that are part of the blockchain. There is no owner — it belongs to everyone who has a transaction recorded in the blockchain. Every transaction is recorded, which makes it impossible to cheat or steal.
Crypto mining is how people acquire cryptocurrencies (other than by purchasing them). Mining means solving cryptographic equations through the use of computers — miners who solve the puzzles are rewarded in cryptocurrency. This is known as a “Proof of Work” system, and bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies work this way. The mining itself requires a huge amount of energy, and has come under fire from outspoken critics like Elon Musk.
P2P networks are platforms where people who don’t mine can buy, sell, and trade cryptocurrency. There are many platforms available today, but accessibility sometimes depends on your location. Due to the nature of cryptocurrency, no documentation from third parties is necessary to facilitate transactions.
Proceed with Caution
Cryptocurrencies are growing in popularity but if you’re just getting into it, it’s important to proceed with caution. Read as much as you can before you invest, and make sure to use a reputable P2P platform. And remember, the nature of cryptocurrency is volatile, so if you do want to invest, be prepared for a lot of ups and downs.