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What is Cryptocurrency?

what is cryptocurrency

Welcome to Run The Chain’s Crypto Classroom. A series of blog entries designed to help you learn and refresh your knowledge on everything crypto. For our first entry, we figured we’d start with the obvious topic, the buzzword of the hour: what is cryptocurrency?

So, what is Cryptocurrency?

A cryptocurrency is a form of money with a design for use over the internet as an alternative to fiat money from governments or other forms of central authority.

This alternative approach to money is an example of ‘decentralization,’ a term referring to the cutting off of middlemen or points of control for regulating and transacting value, i.e., banks or payment processors, while giving back the authority to people.

So how is all of this made secure? Transactions with cryptocurrencies regulate and vet through a technology we call the blockchain.

A crypto blockchain is a form of recording (online) activities from many participants across a digital network. In these networks, the blockchain records update constantly, available for everyone on a blockchain to see. These records of transactions, unlike bank ledgers or balance sheets, go through automated, repeated processes of verification amongst its users. This is to ensure each transaction is valid or that each user has enough funds for transactions. 

What are the main appeals of Cryptocurrency?

Getting into crypto means investing and buying goods or services worldwide. 

Ease of Access: It’s possible to buy crypto from any crypto exchange hassle-free, without any paperwork needed. All you need is a secure internet connection and a smart device.  

Decentralisation: Transactions are processed with ease and with little to no delay, as there is no central bank or trading centres. Decentralisation also makes it harder for outsiders to tamper with crypto, as each blockchain network’s records are stored as a copy on each computer on the network, all kept up to date as the network is updated. 

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What can I do with cryptocurrency?

Want to buy an item for an online game with your spare crypto? Check. Want to hold on to a token for investment plans? Check. Want to use that very item that was mentioned earlier, but as an investment too? Also check.

The use cases of cryptocurrency are ever-increasing. As technology develops from the tireless efforts of countless crypto enthusiasts, there’s bound to be something for everyone in the near future, if it’s not here already. Here are a few ideas for starters:

  • Shop: Not only for goods and services but also to support creators on the internet. 
  • Invest: DeFi is one way to get into the many possibilities of how to invest with crypto. You can also get into owning a piece of virtual land on an online community.

Wrapping up

Due to its security, seamlessness, and ease of access, cryptocurrency is an excellent opportunity to start in investments and assets management. Beyond holding cryptocurrency, users can also participate in an alternate economy and various internet communities that are informed and fueled by the desire to improve blockchain technology. 

Next up, we’ll discuss the many different types of cryptocurrencies that exist, covering “Native” cryptocurrencies, Stablecoins, Altcoins, and Tokens. 

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