Blockchain allows users to send money anywhere in the world without having to exchange currency or pay an intermediary like a bank or wire transfer service to handle the transaction process.
“Once a transaction has been recorded on a blockchain, its decentralized nature and cryptographic algorithm make it nearly impossible to tamper with,” says Connors. Cryptography refers to the techniques used to keep information and communications secure and private, restricting access to only the sender and recipient.
How is crypto used?
Crypto adoption is still in its infancy, and crypto coins are not widely used as currency — at least not yet. However, companies around the world are increasingly interested in these new digital assets and using them for investment products, money transfers and business transactions. It is also used in decentralized applications (dApps) that offer crypto-enabled financial products and services such as loans, insurance, and smart contracts.
“Cryptocurrency is primarily used to store value and to send and receive payments at low cost and at high speed without an intermediary, unlike current payment rails,” says Connors. Ultimately, cryptocurrencies can be used for any financial transaction, he added.
What are altcoins?
Since the introduction of Bitcoin (BTC for short) in 2009, thousands of other cryptocoins have emerged, with many of their developers trying to improve upon Bitcoin’s characteristics and functionality. These are collectively referred to as “altcoins” or alternatives to bitcoin.
BTC is still the most influential digital coin in terms of size and adoption – accounting for nearly 40% of the crypto’s market cap. Bitcoin is followed by ether (ETH), the mother coin of the Ethereum blockchain. Other cryptocurrencies gaining traction and market cap include ADA (Cardano Blockchain), SOL (Solana), LTC (Litecoin), XLM (Stellar), Matic (Polygon), DOT (Polkadot), USDC (USD Coin) and AVX ( avalanches). ) are included. As well as the memecoins DOGE (Dogecoin) and SHIB (Shiba Inu).
“Cryptocurrencies differ in their underlying cryptography, technology and network, but what they all have in common is that they all offer a utility in the form of digital or virtual currency as an alternative to traditional fiat currency,” Connors claims. .
Today, the crypto market is filled with thousands of different digital coins. Some crypto investors prefer to stick to “blue chip” coins like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Cardano. Others may be minted for smaller, less established coins, including memecoins like Dogecoin and Shiba Inu.