Demystifying Cryptocurrencies, Blockchain, and ICOs

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Bitcoin, blockchain, ICOs, ether, and exchanges are all terms used to describe cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrencies (and their language) have generated quite a stir in the media, online forums, and perhaps even in your dinnertime talks, as you’ve no doubt seen. Despite the excitement, many individuals still don’t understand what these terms signify. We could say it as succinctly as Stephen Colbert below, but we’ll be a little more specific.

Cryptocurrencies have gone a long way in terms of technological innovation and appeal since their early days as havens for criminals and money launderers. In 2018, the market capitalization of cryptocurrencies is expected to exceed $1-2 trillion. The technology that underpins cryptocurrencies is claimed to have a wide range of uses, spanning from healthcare to media.

Cryptocurrencies, on the other hand, remain divisive. While some, like economist Paul Krugman and Warren Buffet, have branded Bitcoin “evil” and a “miracle,” others, like venture investor Marc Andreessen, have hailed it as “the future internet.”

What Is a Cryptocurrency and Why Should I Care About It?

Cryptocurrencies are digital assets that are protected by cryptography, a type of encryption. Cryptocurrencies are typically used to buy and trade goods and services, while some newer cryptocurrencies also serve as a set of rules or duties for their holders, as we’ll see later. They have no intrinsic worth because they can’t be exchanged for another commodity like gold. They are not regarded as legal money and are not issued by a central body, unlike traditional currency.

Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) is a type of cryptocurrency that

In the bitcoin investing world, initial coin offers (ICOs) are the hottest new trend. ICOs are a way for companies to raise money to fund the development of new blockchain and cryptocurrency technology. They offer digital tokens, or “coins,” instead of shares of ownership. Investors get first access to the technology and can use it any way they want. Startups can raise cash without having to rely on private investors or venture capitalists. Bankers are increasingly leaving lucrative jobs to get a piece of the ICO pie.

What Is a Blockchain and How Does It Work?

A blockchain is a decentralized database that is shared among computer network nodes. A blockchain acts as a database, storing information in a digital format. Blockchains are well known for their critical role in keeping a secure and decentralized record of transactions in cryptocurrency systems like Bitcoin. The blockchain’s novelty is that it ensures the fidelity and security of a data record while also generating trust without the requirement for a trusted third party.

The structure of the data on a blockchain differs from that of a traditional database. A blockchain organizes data into groupings called blocks, each of which contains a collection of data. Blocks have specific storage capabilities, and when they’re full, they’re closed and linked to the preceding block, producing a data chain known as the blockchain. All additional information added after that newly added block is compiled into a new block, which is then added to the chain after it is filled.

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