The Pros And Cons Of The Decentralized Cryptocurrency

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Money has changed form and shape over time to enable trade to happen. Currency evolved from tangible objects such as cattle, to precious metals, to paper bills that were backed up by precious metals, all the way to today 's paper bills that aren 't backed up by precious metals. However brand new online cryptocurrencies have recently gotten a surge in demand and could become the currency of the future.
Bartering is when people exchanged goods that they had a surplus of for ones that they lacked. The two main drawbacks with bartering is that you may only trade with some that has something you need and wants something you have, and that the goods traded would not have the same bartering value everywhere (BBC , n.d). In 9000 BC ― 6000 BC after
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Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency, invented in 2009, and it remains the largest, reaching a market capitalization of 197 billion US dollars at the time of writing (Worldcoinindex, 2018). This popular cryptocurrency is worth only what people are willing to pay for. Bitcoin works by using a decentralized ledger; a blockchain which contains all the transactions that have taken place, which can be viewed by anyone. Each Bitcoin account has public key (username) and private key (password). Bitcoin works by using complex mathematical equations to confirm that a transaction has taken place. These mathematical equations are done by miners; people that use special hardware called ASICs to confirm transactions. Some estimates put the total electricity use of Bitcoin mining equivalent to that of a small country like Denmark (Ars Technica, 2017). Bitcoin has 16.8 million coins in circulation right now with miners being paid in transactions fees and new coins which they mine with a max amount of 21 million, the last of which will be mined in the year 2140 (after which miners will be paid solely in transaction fees). Bitcoin isn 't a fiat currency, instead it behaves more like Gold as there is a set amount of it and some of it is mined every day. The biggest benefit of Bitcoin is that it is decentralized; meaning it isn 't controlled by any one person or any government. This is a huge upside because a government can 't just print more Bitcoin if it feels like it, nor can a easily government manipulate supply by increasing and decreasing interest rates like it can do with fiat money. Seeing the big success that Bitcoin had, people decided to invent new cryptocurrencies, known as altcoins which are meant to address some of the shortcoming of Bitcoins, such as high transaction fees (the minimum transaction fee is around $25). One of the most popular of these altcoins is
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