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Introduction

Its been difficult in the last year to see any news broadcasts without cryptocurrencies being mentioned, but as much as they have been talked about, there is still little effort to explain what they are. In fact, cryptocurrencies are something completely new that we have never seen before, because until recently, the technology to create and power them simply was not available.

 

About Bitcoin

When you think of cryptocurrencies, the name Bitcoin is probably your first though. With good reason, Bitcoin was the first, and
remains so far, the most successful cryptocurrency.
The first Bitcoin was created in January 2009, using a per to peer network and specific Bitcoin client, created by someone known by
the pseudonym of Satoshi Nakamoto.
Who the creator of Bitcoin is remains a mystery, but his work has gone on to not only create a host of other cryptocurrencies, but the
underlying technology behind them all, the Blockchain, could transform the way we perform online transactions, with every
organization from banks through to governments investigating its potential.

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Blockchain - the key to cryptocurrencies

As with any tradable asset, each Bitcoin, Ethereum or other virtual currency has a value,
and as with any other asset, that value is based upon demand, rarity and desirability.
Bitcoins, just like all cryptocurrencies, are limited in supply.
In fact, there can only ever be 21 million Bitcoins, and this is controlled by the way they are created.
Cryptocurrencies are created through the solving of mathematical equations within the client,
a process known as mining. Miners use powerful computers to decode each new block, with each block
giving a particular number of coins.
At launch, this was 50 coins, but every 210,000 blocks that number is halved. In this way, the
designer creates a limited supply of the coin.

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How to store a virtual currency?

To store virtual currency requires a wallet, either a software wallet
based on a brokers site, or a hardware wallet, using a hard drive
or USB drive or similar, that you store yourself, the latter
being much more secure,
but a lot less practical than the former.

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The creation of cryptocurrencies

As with any tradable asset, each Bitcoin, Ethereum or other virtual currency has a value,
and as with any other asset, that value is based upon demand, rarity and desirability.
Bitcoins, just like all cryptocurrencies, are limited in supply.
In fact, there can only ever be 21 million Bitcoins, and this is controlled by the way they are created.
Cryptocurrencies are created through the solving of mathematical equations within the client,
a process known as mining. Miners use powerful computers to decode each new block, with each block
giving a particular number of coins.
At launch, this was 50 coins, but every 210,000 blocks that number is halved. In this way, the
designer creates a limited supply of the coin.

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Cryptocurrency Varieties

As the leading cryptocurrency, Bitcoin receives by far the most attention, and it has seen wild fluctuations in its value over its lifetime,
although the trend has continued upward since that first coin. It is not the only one though, there are hundreds of different cryptocurrencies out
there today.
Some, such as Ethereum, seek to build and improve on Bitcoin, in Ethereum’s case providing a new feature called smart contracts within
its blockchain that could provide invaluable in the finance and insurance industries, while others are simply offerings tied to a particular project.
However, the market for cryptocurrency trading has grown hugely as interest has risen, with massive potential within the many cryptocurrency
exchanges that now exist.

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As with any investment or trading though, learning the skills needed to be successful in this kind of market s crucial for long term success.

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