With the growing public interest and increasing rates of Bitcoin, you may have been curious to learn more about this currency as well. I have put together this article using up-to-date and reliable facts to help you understand what Bitcoin is, and how safe it is to use. I hope
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For beginners, Cryptocurrency is a type of digital currency based on a peer-to-peer networking model called Blockchain. Blockchain is a trending technology that can easily manage the record of these cryptocurrency transactions. Blockchain, which has acquired a new identity in organizations. Cryptocurrencies sit on top of those identities in the market.
Blockchain is exactly that for cryptocurrencies, what the internet is for email. A big electronic system, on top of which you can build applications. Currency is just one.
Who uses Cryptocurrencies?
- Market Professionals
- Technology Professionals
- End Users
- Private Companies
Blockchain and cryptocurrencies are going to change the world in an unprecedented manner. From banking and secure communications to healthcare and logistics, these will have a huge impact on our future.
- Banking and Payments – Not only does blockchain allow anyone to exchange money faster, more efficiently and more securely (see bitcoin currency), but many banks are already working on adopting blockchain technology to improve their transactions.
- Government – If corrupt politicians and long lines at the DMV give you a headache, you’re not alone. With blockchain, we could reduce bureaucracy and increase security, efficiency and transparency. Welfare and unemployment benefits could also be more easily verified and distributed and votes could be counted and verified for legitimacy.
- Authenticated Voting – While digital voting can be susceptible to tampering, blockchain voting technology is verifiable and would allow anybody to audit the blockchain to confirm votes are time stamped and legitimate.
- Healthcare – Wouldn’t it be great if doctors did not have to “fax over referrals” anymore? Why can’t all of our medical information be stored in a central database? The centralization of such sensitive information makes it very vulnerable. With all of the private patient data that hospitals collect, a secure platform is necessary. With the advent of blockchain, hospitals and other healthcare organizations could create a decentralized and secure database, store medical records and share them strictly with authorized doctors and patients.
- Real Estate – Real estate transactions are often conducted offline involving face-to-face engagements with various entities. Blockchain, however, has opened ways to change this. The introduction of smart contracts to blockchain platforms now allows assets like real estate to be tokenized and be traded like cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ether.
- Logistics Sector – Typical commodity shipment is not as simple as from mine to smelter and ultimately to buyer. Contrarily, it involves a series of players like ships, warehouses, agents… Sometimes, it takes more than a month from shipment load to departure, the ownership can change multiple times.
- Smart Power Grid – There is a smart local power grids project based on blockchain technology. The system aims to make it possible to administer the distribution, metering and billing of electricity within the community independent of any external power and finance companies.
- Cybersecurity – All data is verified and encrypted in blockchain using advanced cryptography, making it resistant to unauthorized changes and hacks. Centralized servers can be very susceptible to data loss, corruption, human error and hacking. Just look at the many hacks we’ve seen in the past few years with Target, Verizon, Deloitte and Equifax. Using a blockchain decentralized, distributed system would allow data storage in the cloud to be more robust and protected against attacks.
- Internet of Things – Today the Internet of Things (IoT) includes cars, buildings, doorbells and even refrigerators that are embedded with software, network connectivity and sensors. However, because these devices operate from a central location that handles communications, hackers can gain access to the car you’re driving or to your home. Blockchain has the potential to address these critical security concerns because it decentralizes all of the information and data. This is increasingly more important as IoT capabilities increase.
- Decentralized Internet – Many companies are currently working on decentralized internet platforms to distribute all the functions of the internet over distributed nodes which will increase the flexibility of the world wide web.
- Intellectual Property Protection – Digital content or information can easily be reproduced and distributed with the aid of the internet. Due to this, people from all around the world hold the power to copy, replicate and use it without giving credit to the actual producer of the content. There are copyright laws to protect such issues but in the current scenario, these laws aren’t appropriately defined according to common global standards. Meaning that any law that is valid in the US might not stand true in Australia.
- Decentralized Markets – Decentralized markets allow us to trade without the involvement of any third party.
- Rentals and Ride-sharing – Uber and Airbnb may seem like decentralized networks, but the platform owners are in complete control of the network and naturally take a fee for their service. Blockchain can create decentralized peer-to-peer ride-sharing apps and can allow car owners to auto pay for things like parking, tolls and fuel.
- Decentralized Social Media Networks – Social media sites are all centralized and involves any third party. As everyone is now aware about The Facebook–Cambridge Analytica data scandal that involved the collection of personally identifiable information of up to 87 million Facebook users.
- Crowdfunding and Donating to Charities – Donating to a worthy cause is never a bad idea. But what percentage of your donation is actually being given to those it’s meant for? Blockchain can help ensure that your money gets exactly where you need it to go. Bitcoin-based charities are already creating trust through smart contracts and online reputation systems, allowing donors to see where their donations go through a secure and transparent ledger.
- Stock Exchange – Blockchain can make stock exchanges much more optimal through automation and decentralization. It can help reduce the huge costs levied on customers in terms of commission while speeding up the process for fast transaction settlements.
- The Rise of Digital Collectibles – Finally, perhaps one of the most intriguing applications of the Blockchain has been the decentralized platforms of digital collectibles. A relatively new practice, digital collectibles are one-of-one creations bought, sold, and traded on a decentralized platform. An excellent example of this has been with CryptoKitties, which as Business Insider notes, has over 200,000 people trading digital cats (with some selling for over $50,000).
Top Cryptocurrencies by Market Capital
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