Cryptocurrencies are digital or virtual tokens that use cryptography to secure their transactions and to control the creation of new units.
Cryptocurrencies are decentralised, meaning they are not subject to government or financial institution control. Bitcoin, created in 2009, was the first cryptocurrency. There are now more than 5,000 cryptocurrencies with a total market capitalisation of over $1 trillion.
Here are ten fun facts about cryptocurrency:
1. The word “cryptocurrency” is derived from the Greek word “kryptos,” meaning hidden or secret.
2. Cryptocurrencies are often referred to as “digital gold.”
3. Bitcoin is the most well-known cryptocurrency, but there are many others including Ethereum, Litecoin, Ripple and Monero.
4. Cryptocurrencies are stored in digital wallets and can be used to purchase goods and services online or exchanged for other currencies.
5. Cryptocurrency transactions are verified by a process called mining which involves solving complex mathematical problems. Miners earn rewards in the form of newly created coins or transaction fees paid by users for faster verification times.
6. Cryptocurrencies are often traded on decentralized exchanges where users can buy and sell without the need for a third party such as a bank or broker.
7. Bitcoin’s price is notoriously volatile, but has seen tremendous growth over the past few years with some investors becoming overnight millionaires.
8. Cryptocurrencies are not backed by any government or central bank and are therefore considered high risk investments.
9. Some countries have banned cryptocurrencies altogether while others have placed restrictions on their use.
10. The first commercial bitcoin transaction was for pizza. In 2010, a man in Florida paid 10,000 bitcoins (BTC) which, at the time was worth around $40 USD, for two pizzas. 10,000 BTC at todays rate is worth around $213,000,000 USD!