A cryptocurrency is a fully decentralized, secure, digital currency whose creation is controlled by cryptography. Cryptocurrencies are not issued by central banks and their value does not depend on bank policies. Unlike regular currencies where new money can be introduced in the money supply through Quantitative Easing (QE), cryptocurrency prices are purely based on supply and demand. Bitcoin, created in 2009, was the first cryptocurrency. There currently are over 800 alternative cryptocurrencies, called Altcoins, such as Ethereum, Ripple and Litecoin.

Nicht wenige digitale Währungen belohnen dies mit einer Art Gehalt welches für die Dienste und geleisteten Arbeitsmengen in Form der Währung selbst bezahlt werden. Das Konzept dieses Netzwerkgedanken ist also nur durch das Internet möglich. Es bietet die entsprechende Infrastruktur. So ist die technische Basis für spätere Kryptowährungen Kurse geschaffen. Es ist also sinnvoll, sich mit den teils komplexen Vorgängen dieser Branche auseinanderzusetzen.
Since prices are based on supply and demand, the rate at which a cryptocurrency can be exchanged for another currency can fluctuate widely. However, plenty of research has been undertaken to identify the fundamental price drivers of cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin has indeed experienced some rapid surges and collapses in value, reaching as high as $19,000 per bitcoin in December of 2017 before returning to around $7,000 in the following months. Cryptocurrencies are thus considered by some economists to be a short-lived fad or speculative bubble. There is concern especially that the currency units, such as bitcoins, are not rooted in any material goods. Some research has identified that the cost of producing a bitcoin, which takes an increasingly large amount of energy, is directly related to its market price.

Generally speaking, the argument for Bitcoin Cash is that by allowing the block size to increase, more transactions can be processed in the same amount of time. Those opposed to Bitcoin Cash argue that increasing the block size will increase the storage and bandwidth requirement, and in effect will price out normal users. This could lead to increased centralization, the exact thing Bitcoin set out to avoid.

In cryptocurrency networks, mining is a validation of transactions. For this effort, successful miners obtain new cryptocurrency as a reward. The reward decreases transaction fees by creating a complementary incentive to contribute to the processing power of the network. The rate of generating hashes, which validate any transaction, has been increased by the use of specialized machines such as FPGAs and ASICs running complex hashing algorithms like SHA-256 and Scrypt.[30] This arms race for cheaper-yet-efficient machines has been on since the day the first cryptocurrency, bitcoin, was introduced in 2009.[30] With more people venturing into the world of virtual currency, generating hashes for this validation has become far more complex over the years, with miners having to invest large sums of money on employing multiple high performance ASICs. Thus the value of the currency obtained for finding a hash often does not justify the amount of money spent on setting up the machines, the cooling facilities to overcome the enormous amount of heat they produce, and the electricity required to run them.[30][31]
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The definition of a cryptocurrency is a digital currency built with cryptographic protocols that make transactions secure and difficult to fake. The most important feature of a cryptocurrency is that it is not controlled by any central authority: the decentralized nature of blockchain makes cryptocurrency theoretically immune to the old ways of government control and interference. Cryptocurrencies make it easier to conduct any transactions, for transfers are simplified through use of public and private keys for security and privacy purposes. These transfers can be done with minimal processing fees, allowing users to avoid the steep fees charged by traditional financial institutions.
NOTES: We created this site in 2015, here three years later (in 2018) the market has evolved and changed a considerable amount. Thus, presenting a list of cryptocurrencies went from being a reasonable thing to do to an impossible task for a site that doesn’t make listing cryptocurrencies its main focus. For a list of most of the current cryptocurrencies, you can check out CoinMarketCap.com. Our brief list below will focus only on some top coins that have made it through the years or that are still relevant today and will note some up-and-coming coins.
Central to the appeal and function of Bitcoin is the blockchain technology it uses to store an online ledger of all the transactions that have ever been conducted using bitcoins, providing a data structure for this ledger that is exposed to a limited threat from hackers and can be copied across all computers running Bitcoin software. Every new block generated must be verified by the ledgers of each user on the market, making it almost impossible to forge transaction histories. Many experts see this blockchain as having important uses in technologies such as online voting and crowdfunding, and major financial institutions such as JPMorgan Chase see potential in cryptocurrencies to lower transaction costs by making payment processing more efficient. However, because cryptocurrencies are virtual and do not have a central repository, a digital cryptocurrency balance can be wiped out by a computer crash if a backup copy of the holdings does not exist, or if somebody simply loses their private keys.
Americ, your insights were very informative! A few months ago I didn’t even know what blockchain is, only heard about cryptocurrencies. My friend suggested me to start an investigation on crypto-mining, there was a boom of articles, but in most cases highly generic ones. Thus my friend found BitDegree publishing lots of good stuff about the crypto world, and especially the whole tutorials about mining that helped us to our Litecoin mining career step-by-step!
As a cryptocurrency attracts more interest, mining becomes harder and the amount of coins received as a reward decreases. For example, when Bitcoin was first created, the reward for successful mining was 50 BTC. Now, the reward stands at 12.5 Bitcoins. This happened because the Bitcoin network is designed so that there can only be a total of 21 mln coins in circulation.
Dash, which was formerly known as Darkcoin and Xcoin, is an open-source peer-to-peer cryptocurrency with the goal of being more user-friendly than other options. Dash created masternodes, which provide incentives to users to help secure the network and assist with user-friendly features, such as InstaSend - which significantly speeds up transaction-processing times.
In 1983, the American cryptographer David Chaum conceived an anonymous cryptographic electronic money called ecash.[7][8] Later, in 1995, he implemented it through Digicash,[9] an early form of cryptographic electronic payments which required user software in order to withdraw notes from a bank and designate specific encrypted keys before it can be sent to a recipient. This allowed the digital currency to be untraceable by the issuing bank, the government, or any third party.