Cryptocurrency 101: A Highlight

What is Cryptocurrency?

Cryptocurrency is a digital, or virtual asset that can be used as a form of exchange. While similar to fiat currency like the dollar or the Euro in that respect, cryptocurrency uses blockchain as its foundational technology, and is inherently different from traditional money in many ways. Unlike fiat currency which are regulated by central banks and governments, and can be printed at any rate the central bank chooses, cryptocurrency is based on decentralized networks on blockchains and must be mined into existence rather than simply printed. Its decentralization allows for increased anonymity and freedom as compared to the modern version of traditional financial systems.

The very first cryptocurrency was Bitcoin, which is also the most well known cryptocurrency. Created in 2009 by the anonymous Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin has become the standard bearer for all other cryptocurrencies. Since Bitcoin’s inception, thousands of other cryptocurrencies have been created, each with their own unique features, purposes and monetary value.

Cryptocurrencies are digital currencies that use cryptography for secure financial transactions, and operate on a technology called blockchain. Blockchain is a decentralized public ledger which cannot be altered once created, and each block on the blockchain contains all of the data on all prior blocks. Blockchains are publicly visible and unalterable. This decentralization ensures that cryptocurrencies can operate without the need for any centralized authority, and helps to minimize the risk of fraud. Blockchain technology also helps to increase security and transparency.

What Are Some Advantages of Using Crypto?

A primary advantage of crypto is its privacy and anonymity. Transactions made via crypto typically do not require the disclosure of any personally identifying information, and the decentralized nature of this technology effectively means that transactions are not subject to the same regulations and controls of traditional financial systems and institutions. The decentralization also makes it more difficult for transactions to be monitored.

Crypto has received significant attention in recent years, due to the crypto market’s potential as a money generating sector. Furthermore, as more and more people, institutions and governments adopt crypto as a formal use of currency — for example El Salvador — pro will only become more widespread.

Currently, there are over 22,000 cryptocurrencies in existence, with a total market cap of just over $980 billion. Here are the top 10 cryptocurrencies based on market cap:

  1. Bitcoin (BTC) – With a market cap of $322.3 billion, Bitcoin (BTC) is the original cryptocurrency. It uses a distributed ledger, called a blockchain, to verify transactions and prevent fraud. In May 2016, one BTC was worth around $500, but by January 2023, its value had increased to approximately $16,741, a growth of 3,248%.
  2. Ethereum (ETH) – Ethereum is both a cryptocurrency and a blockchain platform, known for its use in smart contracts and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Its market cap is $149.0 billion. From April 2016 to the end of January 2023, its price rose from around $11 to around $1,218, an increase of around 10,970%.
  3. Tether (USDT) – Tether is a stablecoin, meaning it is backed by fiat currencies like U.S. dollars, Euros, or Yen and aims to maintain a value equal to one of those denominations. Its market cap is $66.2 billion.
  4. U.S. Dollar Coin (USDC) – Another stablecoin, USDC is backed by U.S. dollars and has a market cap of $44.8 billion. It is powered by Ethereum and can be used for global transactions.
  5. Binance Coin (BNB) – Binance Coin (BNB) is a cryptocurrency that can be used to trade and pay fees on the Binance exchange platform. It has a market cap of $39.3 billion and has seen tremendous growth since its launch in 2017, with a price increase from $0.10 to around $246, a gain of around 245,750%.
  6. XRP (XRP) – Created by the founders of Ripple, a digital technology and payment processing company, XRP can be used on the Ripple network to facilitate exchanges between different currencies, including fiat and major cryptocurrencies. Its market cap is $17.44 billion, and its price has increased from $0.006 at the beginning of 2017 to $0.35 as of January 2023, a rise of about 5,770%.
  7. Binance USD (BUSD) – Binance USD is a stablecoin jointly created by Paxos and Binance, with a market cap of $16.5 billion. It is backed by the U.S. dollar and is intended to minimize the risk of volatility for traders and cryptocurrency users.
  8. Dogecoin (DOGE) – Dogecoin is a cryptocurrency that started as a joke but has gained a significant following on social media. Its market cap is $7.2 billion.
  9. Chainlink (LINK) – Chainlink is a decentralized oracle network that allows smart contracts to access real-world data. Its market cap is $7.1 billion.
  10. Litecoin (LTC) – Litecoin is a cryptocurrency that aims to be faster and cheaper to use than Bitcoin. Its market cap is $6.8 billion.

Final Thoughts

At 0 Percent, we are actively working in the cryptocurrency industry and have fully integrated crypto and blockchain-related products and services into our offerings!

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About the Author

Jeff Sekinger

Jeff Sekinger Founder & CEO, 0 Percent Who is Jeff Sekinger? Visionary Trailblazer Sekinger has been in the financial industry for over a decade. Starting

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