Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Explained + Two Cryptocurrencies to Watch in 2018

01/11/2018 09:09 am ET

By now you probably know of someone- your friend, your brother, your doctor, your Uber driver, your boss’s cousin’s wife’s mother- who made a small fortune off Bitcoin. If you want to make a substantial profit in a short time, the these coins are a good bet. However, financial investment isn’t something one should do willy-nilly. In order to go forward with your best foot forward, here are the basics and “need-to-knows” of cryptocurrencies.

One of the first questions I am always asked is about Blockchain. What is it?

Blockchain is the backbone technology that powers cryptocurrencies. In layman’s terms, It allows digital information to be distributed but not copied. Essentially, there is no monetary trail from transactions. For example, when we withdraw or deposit money into a bank, there are intermediary people and steps between the money being in your hand and in the bank.

Now that we know how cryptocurrencies work, let’s take a look at some of the over 1,300 different cryptocurrencies that AREN’T Bitcoin.

Let’s start with Ethereum. Ethereum, like Bitcoin, is an alternative currency. Unlike Bitcoin, it is used for more than just buying and selling. It can be used for crowdfunding, voting systems, insurance, decentralized applications, and social networks. Here are some of the benefits of using Ethereum.

  • Permanent - No third party can interfere with the network.
  • Incorporated - Applications are written around the "majority decision" principle and can not be curtailed by a group of people.
  • Secure - Not centralized and no vulnerable, encrypted cryptography, meaning applications are extremely secure.
  • They can not be stopped - Because it uses Blockchain, the system can never be stopped or closed.

As of today, Ethereum is quoted at over $1300/unit. This time last year, it was $10/unit. If you had invested even just $100 last year in Ethereum, you would have $13,000 today.

Another option is Ripple. Ripple (XRP), prides itself on being the digital currency that connects banks and payment processors. It proposes to replace the IBAN system that is outdated, expensive, and extremely slow compared to XRP.

Advantages of XRP

  • Allows money to be transferred anywhere in the world in just 4 seconds.
  • It is the most scalable cryptocurrency that currently exists, allowing for 1,500 transactions per second.
  • Supported by over 100 banks worldwide.
  • Stable and efficient.
  • 55% of all coins were placed in ESCROW to ensure liquidity.

Ripple rose by over 40,000% in 2017, from 0.006 to 2.44, and in the past month from 0.25 to 1.6. Investing $1000 in the beginning of January 2017 would have been worth over $200,000.

How can you invest in Ethereum and XRP? I have chosen to use Etoro for many reasons. First of all, it has over four million users across 170 countries and is one of the best-rated platforms in the world. It allows you to buy shares in most, if not all, of the major global corporations, such as Apple, Google, US Index, and Global Index. Additionally, you can deposit money via credit card, Paypal, or bank transfer.

You can sign up for Etoro by clicking here.

If you do not like Etoro, see all of the main trading platforms here. Warning: the other platforms require software or hardware wallets to keep coins. Keeping coins in exchanges is can be dangeroues and is not recommended as many of them have been hacked in the past.

Disclaimer: Invest only the amount of money that you are willing to lose. Past increases in coins do not guarantee their future results. This article is my personal opinion regarding cryptocurrencies and does not represent the opinion of a certified professional in trading.

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