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What is a Cryptocurrency?
A cryptocurrency, such as bitcoin, is a virtual currency traded peer-to-peer on a blockchain, independent of centralised authorities like banks and governments. Being entirely virtual, they are not backed by physical commodities and have no intrinsic value.
Are cryptocurrencies safe from hackers?
Despite their complicated origins, thanks to the sophistication of blockchain technology and the peer-to-peer network for transaction approval, unwarranted disruption by hackers and frauds is exceedingly difficult. The encryption and architecture of blockchain technology is said to be worth more than the currency it handles, as it has application to more forms of data security than just financial trading.
How do cryptocurrencies work?
Primarily, cryptocurrencies rely on blockchain technology to complete a transaction via an intricate P2P network. Once a transfer request is entered into the network, it is validated by the network and added to a pool of other transactions to create a block of data for the ledger, which is then entered into the existing blockchain. Once the block is successfully added to the chain, the transaction is approved and completed.
Are there investment opportunities with cryptocurrencies?
Absolutely. Cryptocurrencies have become established investment commodities among major financial institutions, and have even been adopted by countries such as Australia and Japan. However, as with any investment there are risks linked to market movements, high volatility and economics.