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Crypto for Dummies: A Beginner’s Guide to Understanding Digital Currency

By Abrielle Schmitt

News about cryptocurrency have taken over our news feeds and daily headlines but if you are like me, you do not necessarily want to jump down the rabbit hole on Reddit spending hours upon hours reading about market capitalization or ever-changing cryptocurrency news prediction. All you want to understand is the difference between Altcoin versus Litecoin and whether I should pay attention to the new Matt Damon commercials promoting crypto. 

Is crypto the future? 

If so, what do we need to know before then?

Before we take the plunge, it is best to understand key terms beginners should know, the basics of investing in crypto/where to start, and who are some top investors we can be learning from and cryptocurrencies we should be investing in.

Let’s start from the beginning. What is Crypto?

The idea of Bitcoin hit cyberspace in 2008 and was developed by an anonymous entity that goes by the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto. While Bitcoin is the first established cryptocurrency, the concept of crypto was created years before this electronic currency was formally introduced and remained the only cryptocurrency until 2011. It may be difficult to believe but Bitcoin predates the release of the first Apple iPad which was in April 2010. Bitcoin is over a decade old yet why does it feel as though most of us are just now hearing about this?

Cryptocurrency is like real money but digital. It is a value (money) that is stored for an individual and is not easily stolen. You can, spend, trade, buy, and sell without even revealing your identity. Instead of heading to the bank like we are used to, simple transactions using a particular cryptocurrency is known as blockchain allows for the transfer of values being sent, received, and published. Crypto wallets exist like a physical wallet we carry with us daily. This is where all your assets would be stored should you decide to invest. While Bitcoin is the most popular digital currency but is not the only one to exist. Altcoin, Litecoin, and Ethereum are a few others that continue to gain value. 

Understanding the basics of investing in crypto should give us a better idea of what we are getting ourselves into. Below are some popular online forums that help you find your way through this market. So, if cryptocurrency is something you are considering investing in or learning more about, I encourage you to investigate Cryptocurrency Communities online that follow trends, expose inconsistencies, offer investment support, and share thoughts and ideas between traders and investors. Here are some places to start.

Since this cryptocurrency craze has taken over the headlines, why are people investing this way? People investing in crypto have a new control over their funds unlike their assets stored away in a bank. The government has no direct control over these funds and these virtual currencies allow only the investor has direct access to his/her funds. 

There are thousands of crypto currencies to invest in and research. If you want to jump on this virtual currency train and take more control over your investments, but do not know where to start, as of February 2022 these are the top five currencies based on their current value. Starting from the top, Bitcoin n(BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Tether (USDT), Binance Coin (BNB), and U.S. Dollar Coin (USDC). 

Some top crypto investors that we could take a few tips and tricks from before we dive into the crypto universe include: Barry Silbert is the founder and CEO of Digital Currency Group, Michael Saylor is the Chairman & CEO of MicroStrategy and is an American entrepreneur/billionaire, Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss are identical twins that founded Capital Management, and Elon Musk is most widely known as the co-founder that leads Tesla that also founded SpaceX, Neuralink and The Boring Company.

Crypto is ever changing and growing within the virtual universe. Hopefully you are feeling a little more confident about crypto by the end of this all and inspired to keep educating yourself so you can make some informed money moves as you step into the world of digital currency. Good luck!

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