Whether you're a tech world mogul or desperately still cling to your Hotmail address, you've undoubtedly heard mention of Bitcoin or one of its many derivatives. The newsworthy sums of money that have been thrown at this new breed of virtual, decentralized currency are truly remarkable, able to turn a few lucky prospectors into overnight millionaires. "But how?" you scream as you shake fists of balled-up Monopoly dollars at the moon. "How does fake money become real? And furthermore, how do I get in on this sweet, sweet action?" Well, for starters, put down those crinkled purple bills and take a deep, deep breath. Here's everything you need to know about cryptocurrency.
What Is Cryptocurrency?
Like a DVD rip of an Atomic Blonde screener, cryptocurrency is a digital asset. Even though it lacks the solid, platinum swagger that made us cower in fear of Charlize Theron's spin-kicks, cryptocurrency has real value, despite a complete lack of any measurable physical qualities.
How Do You Put A Price On A Stream Of Information?
Simple. The value of cryptocurrency comes from it being a manufactured scarcity. The structure of its underlying software limits the total number of units available to the market. Each transaction record is logged as a unique block which encodes the previous block as an irreversible code, known as a cryptographic hash. This unbreakable chain of blocks provides proof of every single exchange that's happened on the currency's network, which allows the ledger to hold true without any centralized authority approving anything. Because of the astronomical amount of computing power needed to break the powerful cryptography to modify the overall transaction history, it's basically impossible to counterfeit. There are no industrious (but lovably scrappy) college students high-fiving in their dorm rooms over their fake Bitcoin machines
Great, But How Does That Make Me Rich?
Look, the reason you've heard about Bitcoin and blockchain technology isn't because they make for good dinner table conversation; it's because of the massive speculative market that has sprung up around them. Cryptocurrency can be exchanged for cold hard cash, and knowing when and what to invest in can be extremely lucrative. Despite its incredible volatility since its inception in 2009, 1 BTC is worth $4,030 at the time of this writing. New cryptocurrencies are also created all the time. They definitely don't have the same first-mover advantage as Bitcoin, but financial hype can cause their value to swing just as unpredictably.
How Do I Get In On The Action?
This is a multiple-choice question with a few correct answers. However, the most straightforward way to accumulate cryptocurrency is to either open an online store which accepts payments in Bitcoin or other alternative coins, or to just buy it with conventional money from an exchange. You can also purchase directly if you happen to have a cryptocurrency ATM in your area. If you have no interest in playing the investment game, you can always mine cryptocurrency. Mining keeps the network secure by processing transactions to maintain the integrity of the blockchain, and miners are rewarded for their computer's contribution. However, doing it profitably requires specialized, expensive hardware, making it a non-starter for most people.
What's The Best Way To Get Started?
To learn how to start swimming in virtual money like a virtual Scrooge McDuck, you should check out the Beginner's Guide to Cryptocurrency Investing. This video course features 27 lessons on how to read the ebbs and flows of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. If you're completely new to the digital assets, this course offers some refreshing guidance on thriving in such a fast-paced investment landscape. It usually goes for $180, but you can get it from our store for 91 percent off, just $15.
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Movies are never more unrealistic than when they're showing us exactly what a dollar can buy.