With dynamically changing technology and everything happening with a click of the button, the way we function has changed drastically over the time. Advancements in technology have also transformed the use of e-currency. Undoubtedly, we have come a long way from using the 8000 year old Barter System to compressing our entire life earnings in a wallet-sized plastic card. A new phenomenon quaking the market is Cryptocurrency. Bitcoin, Zcash, Dash, Ether , Ripple and Litecoin can play an instrumental role in the growth of use of digital currency by leaps and bounds. As defined by Investopedia, Cryptocurrency is "a digital currency in which encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of units of currency and verify the transfer of funds, operating independently of a central bank." These are not regulated by any individual government and are therefore independent of any manipulation. Some of these virtual currencies which are gaining popularity include:
- Bitcoin (BTC): This is the first word which comes to our mind when we hear the word ‘Cryptocurrency’. It was founded by Satoshi Nakamoto in the year 2009, but nobody is really sure if he is the sole creator. On its release, Bitcoin’s initial value was 0.08 USD per bitcoin and as of 3rd February 2018, its value is at staggering 9269.51 USD per bitcoin. This increase is phenomenal. To realize the effect of this humongous growth, imagine if a person bought 125 bitcoins for 10 USD and sold them today, he would make a profit of 1158678.75 USD just by investing a bit of his precious money in digital currency. However, this exponential rate of increase of the value of bitcoin is worrying a lot of economists and they are wondering what impact this will have on the world’s economy.
- Ethereum(ETH): Ethereum, an open-source, public, blockchain-based distributing platform was proposed in late 2013 by Vitalik Buterin, a cryptocurrency researcher and programmer. It was crowdfunded online in 2014 and released on 30 July 2014 with 11.9 million coins pre-mined. Currently, the value of one Ether is 972.61 USD. As compared to Bitcoin which has a transaction fee of 23 USD, Etherium has a minimal transaction fee of 23 USD. One of the reasons for this could be that it is due to the high exchange rate which Bitcoin boasts of.
- Litecoin(LTC): This cryptocurrency is similar in many ways to Bitcoin and has been referred as the ‘silver to Bitcoin’s gold’. Like Bitcoin, it also uses a ‘scrypt’ as a proof and has to be decrypted using the help of CPU’s. It was created by Charlie Lee in the year 2011. Currently, the value of 1 LTC is 147.37 USD, a respectable amount but tiny as compared to Bitcoin’s exchange rate. This could be due to fact that Bitcoin was introduced earlier and was an instant hit.
- Zcash(ZEC): Zcash is a cryptocurrency more focused to provide its users with more cryptography and amplify their privacy. While both Zcash and Bitcoin use blockchain technology to publish payments, Zcash has an additional option through which you can conceal the sender.This feature makes it stand out in the crowd as against other cryptocurrencies.The currency was founded in 2016 by the Zcash company whose founder is Zooko Wilkox-O’Hearn. Zcash has an exchange rate of 396.34 USD per ZEC.
Hence, in a nutshell, some of the exquisite features which have made the use of crypto currencies increasingly popular is its ability to work on a global level without seeking any accountability. Also, its safe and secure nature of transactions have invited users and investors to use it fearlessly.