Cryptocurrency is a digital payment system that doesn’t rely on banks to verify transactions. It’s a peer-to-peer system that can enable anyone anywhere to send and receive payments. Instead of being physical money that is carried around and exchanged in the real world, cryptocurrency payments exist purely as digital entries to an online database that describe specific transactions. When you transfer cryptocurrency funds, the transactions are recorded in a public ledger. You store your cryptocurrency in a digital wallet.
Cryptocurrency got its name because it uses encryption to verify transactions. This means advanced coding is involved in storing and transmitting cryptocurrency data between wallets and to public ledgers. The aim of the encryption is to provide security and safety.
How Secure Is Cryptocurrency?
Cryptocurrencies are usually built using blockchain technology. Blockchain describes the way transactions are recorded into “blocks” and time stamped. It’s a fairly complex, technical process, but the result is a digital ledger of cryptocurrency transactions that’s hard for hackers to tamper with.
In addition, transactions require a two-factor authentication process. For instance, you might be asked to enter a username and password to start a transaction. Then, you might have to enter an authentication code that’s sent via text to your personal cell phone.
While securities are in place, that doesn’t mean cryptocurrencies are un-hackable. In fact, several high-dollar hacks have cost cryptocurrency startups heavily. Hackers hit Coincheck to the tune of $534 million and BitGrail for $195 million in 2018. That made them two of the biggest cryptocurrency hacks of 2018, according to Investopedia.
4 Tips to Invest in Cryptocurrency Safely
Investments are always risky, but some experts say cryptocurrency is one of the riskier investment choices out there, according to Consumer Reports. However, digital currencies are also some of the hottest commodities. Earlier this year, CNBC forecasted that the cryptocurrency market is expected to reach a value of $1 trillion by the end of 2018. If you’re planning to invest in cryptocurrencies, these tips can help you make educated choices.
Before you invest one dollar, learn about cryptocurrency exchanges. These platforms provide the means to buy and sell digital currencies, but there are 500 exchanges to choose from, according to Bitcoin.com. Do your research, read reviews and talk with more experienced investors before moving forward.