Over the last couple of years, the term cryptocurrency has been rapidly gaining ground and understanding of its use and value in the public eye. At first it seemed unfamiliar and somewhat scary like the credit card looked to users in its early days.
You might be more familiar with terms like Bitcoin, and Ether. These are all cryptocurrencies using the Blockchain Technology to keep this currency and technology safe.
Currently, there are many types of cryptocurrency. A simple google search of the popular trend shows you the start of the growth and where it is taking us.
How will cryptocurrency help you?
Fraud: Individuals cryptocurrencies are digital and cannot be counterfeited or reversed arbitrarily by the sender, as with credit card charge-backs.
Immediate Settlement:Purchasing real property typically involves some third parties (Lawyers, Notary), delays, and payment of fees. In many ways, the bitcoin/cryptocurrency blockchain is like a "large property rights database," says Gallippi. Bitcoin contracts can be designed and enforced to eliminate or add third party approvals, reference external facts, or be completed at a future date or time for a fraction of the expense and time required to complete traditional asset transfers.
Lower Fees: There aren't usually transaction fees for cryptocurrency exchanges because the miners are compensated by the network (Side note: This is the case for now). Even though there's no bitcoin/cryptocurrency transaction fee, many expect that most users will engage a third-party service, such as Coinbase, creating and maintaining their bitcoin wallets. These services act like Paypal does for cash or credit card users, providing the online exchange system for bitcoin, and as such, they're likely to charge fees. It's interesting to note that Paypal does not accept or transfer bitcoins.
Identity Theft: When you give your credit card to a merchant, you give him or her access to your full credit line, even if the transaction is for a small amount. Credit cards operate on a "pull" basis, where the store initiates the payment and pulls the designated amount from your account. Cryptocurrency uses a "push" mechanism that allows the cryptocurrency holder to send exactly what he or she wants to the merchant or recipient with no further information.
Access to Everyone: There are approximately 2.2 billion individuals with access to the Internet or mobile phones who don't currently have access to traditional exchange, these people are primed for the Cryptocurrency market. Kenya's M-PESA system, a mobile phone-based money transfer, and microfinancing service recently announced a bitcoin device, with one in three Kenyans now owning a bitcoin wallet. (Let me repeat that again. 1/3)
Decentralization: A global network of computers use blockchain technology to jointly manage the database that records Bitcoin transactions. That is, Bitcoin is managed by its network, and not any one central authority. Decentralization means the network operates on a user-to-user (or peer-to-peer) basis. The forms of mass collaboration this makes possible are just beginning to be investigated.
Recognition at universal level: Since cryptocurrency is not bound by the exchange rates, interest rates, transactions charges or other charges of any country; therefore it can be used at an international level without experiencing any problems. This, in turn, saves lots of time as well as money on the part of any business which is otherwise spent in transferring money from one country to the other. Cryptocurrency operates at the universal level and hence makes transactions quite easy.
There is no other electronic cash system in which your account isn't owned by someone else.
Take PayPal, for example: if the company decides for some reason that your account has been misused, it has the power to freeze all of the assets held in the account, without consulting you.
It is then up to you to jump through whatever hoops are necessary to get it cleared, so that you can access your funds. With cryptocurrency, you own the private key and the corresponding public key that makes up your cryptocurrency address. No one can take that away from you (unless you lose it yourself, or host it with a web-based wallet service that loses it for you).
Overall, cryptocurrencies have a long way to go before they can replace credit cards and traditional currencies as a tool for global commerce.
Fact is, many people are still unaware of cryptocurrency aka Digital Currency. People need to be educated about it to be able to apply it to their lives. Businesses need to start accepting it They need to make it easier to sign up and get started.
The future appeal of cryptocurrencies lies in allowing you ultimate control over your money, with fast secure global transactions, and lower transaction fees when compared to all existing currencies.
When used properly and fully understood it would be the initiator of many emerging systems that will fundamentally change our global economic system.