By Harrison Furman
What is cryptocurrency? What is bitcoin?
Cryptocurrency is virtual asset which is exchanged for the United States Dollar, Euro, and other currencies on an exchange under a decentralized market.
Bitcoin uses blockchain to record every transaction and updates a couple times an hour to ensure transactions are happening as they should be.
Anonymous, only recording an address of a wallet in letters and numbers format, a commonly used cryptocurrency exchange is Coinbase. As of last month, Coinbase has more users than the second largest stockbroker Charles Schwab, 13.3 million to 10.6 million, respectively.
When owning cryptocurrency like bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ethereum, you can set up an offline wallet to electronically store coins with virtually no way to be electronically stolen.
The market cap for Bitcoin is approximately $289 billion. That is over two-and-a-half times the size of Nike, or about half of Facebook. Bitcoin is growing so much that it went from $97.50 per Bitcoin on July 1, 2013, to reaching almost $19,000 per bitcoin this month.
That is an increase of over 17,850 percentage points in over four years. Like bitcoin, Litecoin and Ethereum took off just as fast over last couple of months.
Cryptocurrency has been a hot subject for millennials investing for the first time in their life. It is popular because they see the return so high more then ever in other assets like stock and bonds.
The finance industry fears that millennials invest in cryptocurrency and not diversify with the stock market, bonds, gold, silver, and other assets. Coinbase released a statement to all their users warnings about the hype of the current market and invest safely.
With how fast Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency grow, it will be interesting to see if the world will take it. What would this new asset and exchange look like? What will the top 1 percent bitcoin holders do with much power and wealth?
It will be interesting to see over the next few months to see the price and if any regulations come about on bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, and the overall cryptocurrency industry.