There are a few things less annoying than hearing the same word repeatedly and being unable to make sense. That’s how it often feels for most people when it comes to cryptocurrency. People talk about how it is the next big thing or how it is the future.
Then when you attempt to understand what it is but keep seeing big sounding terms that gets you confused or disinterested. You are probably saying to yourself, this is not rocket science why does it have to be so complicated?
We have written these 7 things about cryptocurrencies you should pay attention to amidst all the jargon.
Not one person or institution controls it. Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Etherum and Litecoin removed the control of currency regulation from one person or organisation to a group of people who are anonymous. Eliminating cases on a Central Bank printing notes at the whim of a president. The creation of cryptocurrencies are controlled by people called miners, who required to solve a complex algorithm using high-powered systems before they can create a single cryptocurrency. Some cryptocurrencies have a maximum number that will ever be created. Bitcoin, for instance, will only ever have 21 million in circulation.
Cryptocurrency makes sending money faster. Using the existing system it could take 2 or 3 days to send value (money) from say Ghana to Finland, with cryptocurrency the time to send money is cut to 30 minutes or less. This eliminates inefficiencies and reduces wait times.
The way to find out if a transaction (send or receiving money) has been processed is via your bank. Cryptocurrency makes it possible for you to track and view the details of every transaction, eliminating the bank. With cryptocurrency, anyone can verify if a transaction has been completed. All you require is the transaction ID (a series of unique numbers generated for each transaction).
Think of cryptocurrency as cash, when you give someone cash you can’t get it back unless they give it back to you. Cryptocurrency works in the same way. This eliminates incidences of charge-backs i.e. a user paying for an item, disputing the transaction despite getting the item, getting the money they paid back and the merchant/business bearing the loss.
Cryptocurrency has value. Meaning you can pay for products and services with it, just like you can use dollars or naira. Imagine travelling the world and not bothering about changing to the local currency, if your debit card will work or if fear you will exhaust your spending limit.
While the number of businesses that accept cryptocurrency is still in the minority. Startups like Fliqpay are looking to close the gap by making it easy for businesses to accept cryptocurrencies as payment.
Just like the internet has eliminated communication barriers, digital currency is doing the same for finance. With cryptocurrency, no country is unreachable or too far away for you to do business with or send money to in less time and less than a quarter of the current transaction cost. Cryptocurrency is the native currency of a borderless digital world.
The price of cryptocurrencies fluctuates often. However, lies the opportunity for some people. Buy when the price is low and sell when the prices are high. In the same way, it works for people who actively trade forex and stocks. Knowing when to do this requires understanding the fundamentals of each cryptocurrency. You can also read this article on how to invest in cryptocurrency if you have a low-risk appetite. At the basic level cryptocurrency as an investment asset class works in the same way that stocks or forex do, buy low, sell high or hold.
This content is for educational purposes only. It should not be considered as financial advice. You should consult your financial advisor before deciding to store, buy or sell digital currencies.
This article is in partnership with Quidax. Quidax is a European based cryptocurrency exchange with a focus on Africa. We provide a seamless platform for users to send, receive, buy and sell cryptocurrencies using their local currencies.