Cryptocurrency Primer - A Small Introduction

Cryptocurrency Primer

Former Hewlett Packard CEO Cary Fiorina argues that every industry will be disrupted by every digital transformation, becoming mobile, personal, and virtual. Almost everything, including the banking industry, is expected to go digital, and it has been a source of significant controversies worldwide, especially that people in this sphere don’t like competition.

Cryptocurrency, also known as virtual currencies, are digital means of exchanges – invaluable to both individuals and groups. Since they’re generally not used by Government agencies, cryptocurrencies are often regarded as alternative mediums of sale outside the jurisdictions of state fiscal policies.

At a glance, cryptocurrencies use cryptographic protocols that are incredibly complex to encrypt their sensitive data transfers and secure their exchange units. These protocols have been built on too complex code systems, which renders them almost impossible to break. The principles of cryptography indicate that making transactions and fund flows to specific individuals is significantly hard.

For many years, Bitcoin has been the most widely used cryptocurrency despite the constant infiltration of other coins into the network. Since its inception by Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin has evolved rapidly that some experts are claiming that this digital currency is threatening to replace the US dollar. While this idea still fuels primary debates across the globe, it could be true, considering that Bitcoin’s value has been seen to go over $20,000 in particular periods.

Cryptocurrency Primer - How Cryptocurrencies Work

At a glance, the program codes that secure cryptocurrency networks are highly complex that it’s close to impossible to crack. With this complexity, you may think it’s virtually impossible to understand how the framework operates, but that’s not true.

Functionally, most cryptocurrencies are modifications of Bitcoin. Like conventional currencies, cryptocurrencies are quantified just as you’d say, “I have $5.”


Blockchain is a digital record-keeping system created to hasten transactions and enhance security. It’s engineered to enable peer-to-peer transactions, hence eliminating the need to have third parties like banks.

Dissolving intermediaries could enhance efficiency to an epic degree and reduce response time and costs. From a general perspective, blockchain could streamline daily activities by bridging the gap between consumers and service providers.

Technically, a cryptocurrency transaction isn’t completed until it is included in the blockchain network. Once the transaction is successful, reverting to the former state is typically impossible. Unlike conventional payment processors like PayPal, most cryptocurrencies lack built-in refund functions, though some have rudimentary refund elements.

Private Keys

“Private keys” used in this context refers to unique identifiers that validate the authenticity of your identity and allows you to exchange units. Users are typically allowed to create their tailored private keys, which can be formatted as whole numbers with 1-78 digits or a number generator to create one.

Once you have a key, you can use cryptocurrency, which means losing the key will render the cryptocurrency worthless until you recover it. While this encryption generally enhances security and minimizes theft, losing it will be as good as disposing of your cash in the trash can. Although you can regenerate your key and start accumulating your assets again, you can’t recover the cryptocurrency previously stored using the key.

Therefore, it is prudent to store the key in a place you’re confident you can’t misplace it.


Once you own a cryptocurrency, you’ll be given a wallet that identifies you as the owner of the unit. While private keys are primarily meant to verify your identity when using a cryptocurrency, wallets reduce unused units’ risk. Nonetheless, wallets are somewhat vulnerable to being hacked.

You can store a wallet on the cloud or in a hard drive, but you should always ensure that you’ve backed it appropriately. Keep in mind that backing up the wallet doesn’t store all the cryptocurrency units, but it merely justifies existence and ownership.


Cryptocommodities have sparked hundreds of debates regarding what constitutes them. Some consumers argue that they consist of blockchains used to generate tokens. In contrast, others claim that they are a computer system’s characteristics.

Whichever the case, crypto commodities are the constituents of cryptocurrencies. As a single unit, the building blocks will not work effectively. When collated as a whole, however, the cryptocurrencies function with maximum efficacy.

Decentralized Control

One notable element of cryptocurrencies is their decentralized control. Their supply and worth are driven by user activity and highly sophisticated codes built into their operating framework. Such codes aren’t incorporated in the decision of financial institutions.

Users that use significant amounts of computer power to record transactions, the number of cryptocurrency units that have just joined the system, and transaction fees paid in by other people are crucial. Such activities aid in the seamless functionality and stability of cryptocurrencies.

Supply and Exchanges

Special online markets enable cryptocurrencies to be exchanged for major world currencies. However, such exchanges are somehow prone to attack by cybercriminals and hackers.

The source codes contain instructions that outline the specific number of units that can exist over a predetermined interval. Over that period, it becomes harder for users to mine new units until the upper threshold is reached and the new currency stops being functional.

Cryptocurrency Primer - Perks and Downsides

Since cryptocurrencies are independent and have close to foolproof security systems, users enjoy perks commonly not available to users that utilize traditional currencies – like the US dollar. While banks are typical of freezing funds in an account within its jurisdiction, it’s nearly impossible to hear the same funds held in a cryptocurrency being frozen.

On the contrary, cryptocurrencies have a mammoth of drawbacks – ranging from illiquidity and high volatility that is pretty uncommon with conventional currencies. Additionally, cryptocurrencies often have security issues that have fueled mistrust by so many countries that view this currency as a pathway to facilitate black market transactions.


People, organizations and supply chains are beginning to adopt cryptocurrencies as their primary medium for exchange. Investing in cryptocurrency creates a cost-effective framework faster. It allows peer-to-peer transactions, which eliminates the need for third-party institutions.

Without a doubt, cryptocurrencies have associated drawbacks and security issues. Nonetheless, the positives far outweigh the downsides, making this technology a worthwhile investment.

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