Cryptocurrency | Join the hype train

If you have been reading the news lately you will have no doubt heard of the terms "Bitcoin" and "Cryptocurrency", and if you are not someone who is familiar with this tech you might be wondering "What the heck is this about?". 

My Story

I've been aware of Cryptocurrency since Bitcoin's introduction in 2009, and like many other people, I thought it was a waste of time and would never take off. Fast-forward to 2017 and you can easily see that I was eating my words and my potential investment of £200 pounds, It was either going towards buying a sexed pair of Dendrobates Imitator or Imitator poison dart frogs in the common tongue (I was heavily into herpetology at the time and a major hobbyist) or buying 400 of an invisible, highly risky new type of currency that promised a lot of new things, but was a new concept, naturally I picked the former - I guess you live and learn, and what I've learned in my cryptocurrency endevours is that you need to buy and HODL (Hold on for dear life) to suceed!. 

What is Cryptocurrency?

Cryptocurrency is a digital currency system that uses cryptography to make sending money very secure, and, unlike normal currencies that are controlled by centralised banks or governments, it uses sophisticated encryption methods to control its release and generation via a system known as a blockchain. Coins are stored in a digital wallet, most often a computer program that interacts with a blockchain to send and receive currency (Using single-use addresses), and to also check balances. 

What is blockchain?

Simply put, a blockchain is a continuously growing public decentralised (There are no middlemen or banks involved!) database which is comprised of "blocks". These blocks contain the history and information of every single block that came before it, in chronological order, ensuring that all of the data contained on these are up to date. Blocks are added to the chain using cryptology, meaning that they are unable to be tampered with and once a transaction is completed they cannot be deleted. 

Why should I care about this?

Cryptocurrency is a relatively new concept, and it's definitely not slowing down. Digital currency is here to stay. Cryptocurrency is for everyone, but it does require some research/learned knowledge to get started so make sure you do your due diligence before committing to anything. It used to be that, in the past, people would pay into bank based investments and pensions, however, these no longer guarantee a financially sound future. 

So how do you secure your future? You do it yourself. My mum always taught me "If you want something done, you do it yourself" and in this day and age, it especially rings true. Cryptocurrency is that "thing". With cryptocurrency, you choose how much you put in, you choose what you put it into, you choose when to cash out and you remain in control the whole time - tell me what bank allows this level of control? 

There are risks, as with everything, mainly poor research and jumping the gun (FOMO - or fear of missing out) as the cause. But I will cover this more in the next post. 

How do I get started? 

1) Find out how much you want to invest and research the coin you want to invest in.

2) Go to Coinbase and purchase one of the listed coins. You will need to sign up and add a credit card or bank card in order to proceed. I opted for the credit card option for peace of mind. All of your purchases will be listed on the accounts page, under the wallet section. 

3) Once the purchase has been confirmed you will want to transfer the newly purchased coins to a cryptocurrency exchange, using the send button beside the coin you had bought in step 2 (It is absolutely crucial that you enter the correct address when sending and receiving coins, as any mistakes will result in lost coins). I use Kucoin, Cryptopia, and Binance as my exchanges because I prefer the coins offered there and the layouts are more user-friendly compared to some of the others. Make sure that the coin you want is listed there first before you send your newly bought coins there.  

 I will be covering cryptocurrency in more detail after the new year, so please subscribe to make sure you don't miss out. You can catch me over on Twitter if you have any more questions, have a great New Year!

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     *I am not a financial advisor, please do proper research before making any commitments* 

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