Cryptocurrencies have skyrocketed in value over the last few years. They are extremely popular these days as supporters see cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin as the currency of the future and are racing to buy them now, presumably before they become more valuable.
Although, there are still many people who have heard about them, but how many people actually know what Cryptocurrency is? How many people know where they come from and how they work?
What Is Cryptocurrency?
A cryptocurrency is a digital or virtual currency that is secured by cryptography, which makes it nearly impossible to counterfeit or double-spend.
They are systems that allow for the secure payments online which are denominated in terms of virtual “tokens,” which are represented by ledger entries internal to the system.
Many cryptocurrencies are decentralized networks based on blockchain technology. Blockchain is a decentralized technology that spreads across many computers that manages and records transactions. Part of the appeal of this technology is its security.
The first blockchain-based cryptocurrency was Bitcoin, (Bitcoin cryptocurrency) which still remains the most popular and most valuable. Bitcoin was launched in the late 2008 by an individual or group known by the pseudonym “Satoshi Nakamoto.
Types of Cryptocurrency
The total value of all cryptocurrencies on April 13, 2021, was more than $2.2 trillion, according to CoinMarketCap, and the total value of all bitcoins, the most popular digital currency, was pegged at about $1.2 trillion.
Apart from Bitcoin Ethereum, Litecoin, Cardano, and Binance Coin are raging higher.
Chia cryptocurrency comes for the hard drive
Cryptocurrency mining surges have caused GPU shortages and price spikes, helped resurrect fossil fuel power plants, and consumed more energy than some countries.
Now, it’s targeting the storage industry.
Cryptocurrency Chiacoin has pitched itself as a green alternative to compute-intensive currencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Dogecoin. Instead of requiring computational power, it primarily requires ‘proof-of-space’ in hard drives and SSDs to be mined.
Now, as Chiacoin’s popularity spikes, hard drives are in high demand.
Driving drive demand
Chia uses 100GB clusters on a hard drive called plots. The more plots, the higher chance of winning some coin.
Calculations by Tom’s Hardware estimate a 10TB drive should give a miner odds of winning at 0.000257 percent. But there are 4,608 Chia blocks created per day, with you given a chance to win each time.
The more blocks you have, the higher chance of winning Chiacoin, causing a bullrush on drives.
Earlier this month, Retail Asia noted that large capacity hard drives are virtually out of stock in Vietnam due to rocketing interest in Chia.
“Many of our customers bought the hard drives in bulk, from hundreds to thousands in one order, instead of a few units in one order as usual,” Seagate Vietnam’s Hoang Lam told the publication.
It is thought the hard drives were bought by Chinese operators, who had already acquired most of their homeland’s large capacity hard drives. Shops that still stock 4TB and higher drives have increased prices dramatically.
“At peak times, prices have been at least 60 percent higher than usual. Prices dropped a bit recently but they are still about 50 percent [higher than normal] now,” one vendor told the South China Morning Post.
The official newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party’s Beijing Municipal Committee, Beijing Daily, criticized the wastefulness of Bitcoin and Chiacoin.
Recently, a virtual currency called Chiacoin has turned hard drives into a sought-after ‘hard currency,’ and there has been a trend of stock-out and price increases,” the state publication said, complaining that desperate customers are buying surveillance-level hard disks that could instead be used for state surveillance.
“The shortage of mechanical hard drives also drives up the price of solid state drives, and ordinary SSDs generally rise by one or two hundred yuan.”
While HDDs appear to be the primary target of Chia miners, SSDs are also being acquired en masse. This may prove a problem long term, as the mining process appears to test the limits of drives.
Mydrivers found that it took a 512GB SSD just 40 days to break, while a 1TB SSD lasted twice as long.
More than 3.9 million terabytes of storage space are currently being used by Chia miners. Given the fickle nature of cryptocurrency, it is impossible to predict how large the platform will grow and its long-term impact on hard drive markets. Previous Bitcoin booms have caused acute GPU shortages.
Chia was created by BitTorrent inventor Bram Cohen as a replacement for environmentally damaging cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin, for example, is thought to use more energy than the entire data center industry, according to the Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index.
It uses more power than Poland, and while some of the miners use renewable energy, others use coal and gas. Critics note that the renewable energy could also have been used on other tasks.
Chia, on the other hand, was pitched as a system that could take advantage of the exabytes of unused storage already in circulation. But instead, miners have turned to new drives to gain the currency.
Top Cryptocurrencies To Buy In 2021?
4 Top Cryptocurrencies To Consider Buying Other Than Bitcoin
Bitcoin has been the talk of the market in recent years. It has become the de facto standard for cryptocurrencies. With the recent surge in cryptocurrencies, it sure does attract a lot of retail investors’ attention away from the traditional space. While Bitcoin is an obvious choice for investors warming up to the space, others are looking for cheaper yet promising altcoins to add to their portfolio. For those unfamiliar, an altcoin simply means an alternative cryptocurrency to Bitcoin. And each of them operates according to its own rules.
However, before we start asking ourselves “what crypto should I buy today?” let’s take a step back and ask a simple question like what are cryptocurrencies, and that may be a better place to start. For those unfamiliar, a cryptocurrency is virtual money that takes the form of tokens or “coins” that can be used to buy goods and services. But it utilizes blockchain technology to secure online transactions across decentralized systems. Cryptocurrencies are almost always designed to be free from government intervention and control. And it is this foundational aspect that made this asset class grow in popularity.
More Institutional Investors Jumping On The Cryptocurrencies Bandwagon
Cryptocurrency has been one of the biggest financial stories of the year so far. Prices seem to be soaring to exorbitant levels amid strong institutional acceptance. Institutional investors are increasingly considering cryptocurrencies as an alternative asset class. After all, they are looking to maximize their returns in the difficult investment climate we face in the stock market today. We saw several businesses like Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA), PayPal (NASDAQ: PYPL), and Square (NYSE: SQ) making moves to accept cryptocurrencies for transactions. This certainly bodes well for the industry.
Early adopters of Bitcoin would have made a huge profit, assuming they have held on. Ask any investor today, they would want to get a piece of it if it weren’t that expensive. With all the buzz going around cryptocurrencies, it seems like there’s a high chance that these digital assets could potentially be the future of financial transactions.
With the increasing participation from institutional players, could now be a good time to allocate cryptocurrencies to your portfolio? If you are wondering what are the top cryptocurrencies to buy [or sell] right now, let’s take a look at some of the hot names in the market today.
Is cryptocurrency a good investment
Cryptocurrency has been having quite the year. Digital currencies are the latest phenomenon in the investing world, and several different types of currencies have been shattering records.
Bitcoin (CRYPTO:BTC), the most popular type of cryptocurrency, has seen its price increase by nearly 90% so far this year. Ethereum (CRYPTO:ETH) has soared around 435% this year. And the price of Dogecoin (CRYPTO:DOGE) has skyrocketed a whopping 7,800% in the same time period.
If you’re on the fence about investing in crypto, it can be tough to tell whether it’s a smart investment. For every investor who swears it’s going to change the world, there’s another saying it’s a terrible investment.
The truth is that nobody knows what the future holds for crypto. But there are a few reasons you may want to consider investing — and reasons you might avoid it.
Why invest in cryptocurrency
1. It could be the next big thing
It’s true that cryptocurrency could potentially change the world as we know it. Crypto is a global currency, and it can be used for transactions across countries without having to pay high fees — which could potentially revolutionize the banking and financial services industries.
Right now, cryptocurrency isn’t widely accepted around the world. But as more merchants start to accept it as a form of payment, it could potentially have an enormous impact on society. By investing now, you could get in on the ground floor, so to speak.
Bitcoin has also been referred to as “digital gold” because there is a limited number of coins that can be created. Supporters of Bitcoin say this scarcity increases its value, which could also drive up its price.
2. It could help diversify your portfolio
If you’re eager to get involved in the crypto space, it may not hurt to invest a small portion of your portfolio in cryptocurrency.
In fact, diversifying into a new industry can give you the incentive to better understand crypto and how it works. After all, it’s often easier to research unfamiliar topics when you have skin in the game. And the better you understand crypto, the better decisions you’ll be able to make.
Just be sure you’re only investing money you can afford to lose because cryptocurrency is a highly volatile investment. In addition, choose your investments wisely. Not all cryptocurrencies are created equal, so if you choose to invest, do your homework to make sure you’re buying the right one for your situation.
Why avoid cryptocurrency
1. It’s extremely volatile
One of the biggest risks of investing in crypto is its extreme volatility. Bitcoin, for example, lost roughly 80% of its value at one point, and it continues to experience turbulence regularly.
If you’re the risk-averse type, investing in crypto could be incredibly stressful. Even if cryptocurrency does succeed over the long run (which is far from guaranteed), not all investors have the stomach to deal with the short-term ups and downs.
2. It’s highly speculative
Nobody knows how cryptocurrency will perform over time. Even some of the biggest names in finance can’t agree on whether crypto is a good investment. To some extent, speculation is a factor to consider with any investment. Even if you’re investing in relatively safe stocks from well-established companies, there’s no guarantee those stocks will continue to perform well over the long run.
However, cryptocurrencies are far riskier than most stocks because they’re a relatively new type of investment. We’re in uncharted territory right now, so it’s uncertain whether cryptocurrencies will find a place in society or whether they’ll fall by the wayside in a few years. That uncertainty makes crypto a high-risk investment.
3. There are risks involved in owning crypto
Aside from the risks of crypto as an investment, there are also risks involved in owning and keeping cryptocurrency itself. Cryptocurrencies don’t trade on traditional stock market exchanges. Rather, they’re bought and sold through crypto exchanges. You’ll also need a special digital wallet to hold your coins.
Digital wallets aren’t immune to hackers, so there’s a chance your coins could be stolen. In addition, if you forget your password to your online wallet, you have no way to access your investments.
Weighing the pros and cons
There are advantages and disadvantages to investing in cryptocurrency. Ultimately, whether you choose to invest will depend largely on your tolerance for risk.
If you’re willing to take on higher levels of risk and believe cryptocurrency may be the next big thing, it may not hurt to add a small amount to your portfolio. Otherwise, you’re better off avoiding cryptocurrency for right now.
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Newest cryptocurrencies with the potential to cause a market disruption
Internet Computer (ICP)
The cryptocurrency universe never fails to amaze. A new name has recently entered the list of the newest cryptocurrencies to watch and quickly became one of the most talked-about coins on the market.
This newest crypto is Internet Computer (ICP). It was launched on 10 May 2021 and is listed among the top 10 cryptocurrencies in the world already. Within the first day of trading the cryptocurrency spiked from $146.45 to $737.20 and consolidated around $318.00 four days later on 14 May 2021. The ICP market cap is $39.4bn, according to CoinMarketCap.
Like the Ethereum blockchain, the Internet Computer blockchain uses smart contracts to power various apps and networks.
Developers can use the Internet Computer blockchain to create websites and other internet resources such as social media and web applications and decentralised finance (DeFi) apps.
However, unlike Ethereum, the Internet Computer blockchain is much faster and less expensive, and its speed and capabilities are comparable to the internet.
The distinguishing feature of Internet Computer is its proprietary protocol, Internet Computer Protocol, which is designed to allow anybody to create software or publish information on the internet without relying on web services from large corporations such as Amazon, Google or Facebook.
Its founder Dominic Williams, chief scientist at Dfinity, claims that the protocol offers a hack-proof infrastructure, lowers costs and is interoperable.
Newest altcoins 2021: analysts’ views on Internet Computer
Wall Street analysts seem bullish on Internet Computer. According to WalletInvestor, the price of ICP token is expected to hit $652.75 by the end of 2021, $2,013.36 by the end of 2023, and $2,417.03 by the end of 2025. The cryptocurrency is projected to reach $3,659.45 by May 2026, a rise of 1,207.88% from its current price levels, making this newest crypto one of the top altcoins to watch.
According to DigitalCoin, the Internet Computer (ICP) price will rise to $486.26 by the end of 2021, will reach $661.58 in 2023, $801.73 by the end of 2024 and $1,140.10 by the end of 2026. Eventually, analysts believe the price of ICP will hit $1,375.28 in 2028.
Newest cryptocurrencies to invest in for 2021
Enjin coin (ENJ)
While Enjin token (ENJ) was released in 2017, it did not gain mainstream acceptance until January 2021.
The price of the Enjin token was $0.136 on 1 January 2021, and it hit the all-time high of $4.00 on 9 April 2021, representing a 2,841% surge in just three months.
According to CoinMarketCap, it is currently trading at $2.02 and has a market cap of $1.8bn.
Enjin is an Ethereum-based cross-chain project that brings together many players from all around the world. Enjin delivers an ecosystem of blockchain-based interconnected gaming products. Its flagship offering is Enjin Network, a social gaming platform in which users can chat, create websites and host virtual stores.
Enjin token is designed specifically for the video gaming industry. The project has proved to be useful for over 20 million players worldwide in creating networks and conversations related to their favourite video games.
Engin coin is used as a store of value, backing the value of blockchain assets like non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Engineers of any video game could build a currency backed by the Enjin token. In terms of value, stability and exchange speed, these tokens would have similar benefits to the blockchain.
Enjin now collaborates with IT and gaming industry giants such as Samsung, Unity and PC Gamer, and a few esports brands. The number of partners is constantly growing, allowing Enjin to reinvent the essence of the gaming experience.