Let's start with the basics. What is it?
Blockchain is the technology that enables the existence of cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrency is a medium of exchange, such as the US dollar, but is digital and uses secure encryption techniques to control the creation of monetary units, as well as to verify the transfer of funds. Bitcoin is the name of the best-known cryptocurrency, the one for which blockchain technology was invented.
Why is everyone freaking out about it?
Overall, Blockchain is a digital, decentralized ledger that keeps a record of all transactions that take place across a peer-to-peer network. The major innovation (and why everyone is talking about it) is that the technology allows participants (like you) to transfer assets across the Internet without the need for a centralized third party. Collaborative technology, such as blockchain, promises the ability to improve business processes that occur between companies. People are also going wild over cryptocurrency since it offers significantly higher returns for each investment dollar spent than most traditional internal investments.
How does it work? How is it all connected?
- Someone requests a transaction.- The requested transaction is broadcast to P2P network consisting of computers known as nodes.- The network of nodes validate the transaction.- The new block is then added to the existing blockchain, in a way that is permanent.- The transaction is complete.
Should I invest in cryptocurrency?
It's like any other investment: Invest if you believe in the vision and understand the technology. Treat your investment like any other highly speculative venture, ie. don't put money in that you're not willing to lose. Cryptocurrencies are susceptible to huge price swings, which in turn increases the likelihood of big gains or losses. The key is to stay updated, which is what we're here to do! Here's a guide on how to invest.
What are cryptocurrencies used for?
- Crowdfunding/ICOs- Peer-to-peer payments, or the sharing economy- Governance and voting- Smart contracts- File storage- Internet of things- Supply chain auditing- Stock trading- Data management- And much more!
How do I buy cryptocurrency?
It's easy, you can purchase it through direct commercial exchanges/brokers.
This allows you to buy and sell Bitcoin or other alt-coins on an exchange. Just pick a trading platform, such as Coinbase, choose your means of payment, pay and get Bitcoins for prices set by the platform. For some of these platforms, you need your own wallet, while others like Coinbase and Circle, give you the option to save and spend the Bitcoins with a wallet they provide. This is the fastest and easiest way for new users to buy their first Bitcoin. The fees of direct commercial exchanges vary between 1 and 5 percent. Other ways: ATM (some companies like Lamassu produce ATM-machines for Bitcoins); P2P-Markets (P2P-marketplaces buyers and sellers of Bitcoin meet and trade with each other.); and other Exchange Platforms.