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Understanding the Different Types of Cryptocurrency
There was a time when you could count the number and types of cryptocurrency on one hand. Today that is no longer possible. The crypto market has grown, grown and grown some more!
In this article, I will explain the three main types of cryptocurrency: Bitcoin, altcoins, and tokens. By the end of this guide, you’ll know:
- What the top types of cryptocurrency are
- How many types of cryptocurrency are there
- The differences between them
- And the pros and cons of each
Before learning about the top types of cryptocurrency, it’s important to understand what cryptocurrency is. If you already feel comfortable with your knowledge in this area, please feel free to skip the next section — scroll down to “The Three Main Types of Cryptocurrency”!
Sound good? Let’s get started!
Table of Contents
What Is a Cryptocurrency?
The prefix crypto- stands for “cryptography,” which is a technology that keeps information safe and hidden from attackers. You may have heard of cryptography in history class — it was used to send and receive secret messages by the Allied Forces in World War II.
In present day, computer technicians put cryptography to use in many different ways. One of those ways is cryptocurrency!
Decryptionary.com defines cryptocurrency as “an electronic money created with technology controlling its creation and protecting transactions, while hiding the identities of its users.” For now, you can forget about how types of cryptocurrency are created, and instead focus on what it does.
Thanks to cryptocurrency, people no longer need to trust banks to handle their money and private information (that’s the same for credit card companies, too).
We don’t need banks to process our transactions anymore. Instead, transactions in cryptocurrency are processed on the blockchain. The blockchain is a shared database.
It is shared because it is run by lots of different people and companies, instead of just one company, like the banks are. This way, nobody has power over the transactions or the cryptocurrencies involved, and you don’t need to trust one single company (like a bank) to handle your money.
If this is the first time you’ve heard about blockchain technology, you should check out my other guide on Blockchain Explained!
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Anyway, let’s move on to the three main types of cryptocurrencies.
The Three Main Types of Cryptocurrency
The blockchain brings together the three main types of cryptocurrency. Bitcoin was the first blockchain (skip to the Bitcoin section for more information on how it started and what it does).
After Bitcoin, many new blockchains were created — these are called altcoins. NEO, Litecoin and Cardano are solid examples of altcoins. Finally, I must introduce you to tokens/dApps — the third main type of cryptocurrencies. Examples of these include Civic (CVC), BitDegree (BDG), and WePower (WPR).
So, let’s get into it!
A Bit of History
In 2008, the idea of Bitcoin was revealed. Someone named Satoshi Nakamoto published the whitepaper online. However, it was later revealed that Satoshi Nakamoto was not this person’s real name. Even today, no one knows the real name of the creator of Bitcoin!
At the time, nobody knew that Bitcoin would become what it is today. Nobody knew that it would be the start of a huge technological movement… but it was. It was the beginning of cryptocurrencies — the beginning of a new era.
You probably know what happened next. Several years passed in which the primary use of Bitcoin was to trade goods and services on the dark web. Ever heard of Silk Road? Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about.
In 2020-14, Bitcoin grew a lot. Then, it slowed down a bit. But in 2020, the market for Bitcoin went up, up and further up. This time, it went a lot further.
In December 2020, Bitcoin reached a price of $20,000 per Bitcoin. So, anyone holding 50 Bitcoins or more became a millionaire. In January 2020, 50 Bitcoins would have cost you just $10,000. That’s a profit of $990,000! Crazy, right?!
What It Is
It is a digital currency that you can send to other people. This may be as a gift, for services or for a product. You get the idea — it’s just like the money we use in our bank accounts (USD, EUR, etc.). But it’s digital; it isn’t physical.
However, that isn’t all that makes it different. It’s also decentralized, meaning it doesn’t rely on a bank or third party to handle it — which I explained earlier in my definition of a cryptocurrency.
With Bitcoin, each transaction happens directly between users — it’s called a peer-to-peer network. This is all possible thanks to the blockchain. Bitcoin introduced blockchain technology to allow users to send and receive Bitcoin without using a third party.
Because you don’t need a third party, you don’t need to identify yourself. You can make payments without revealing who you are etc.
How It Works
When someone sends Bitcoin, the transaction is verified and then stored on the blockchain (the shared database). The information on the blockchain is encrypted — everyone can see it but only the owner of each Bitcoin can decrypt it. Each owner of Bitcoin is given a ‘private key’, and this private key is how they decrypt their Bitcoin.
But, if the banks don’t verify/process the transactions, then who does?
Remember when I told you that blockchains are run by lots of different people and companies instead of one single company/person? Well, the people and companies that run the blockchain do it using computer power. They run special software on a computer that processes transactions on the blockchain.
A quick tip: The computers used to run the software are called ‘nodes’.
Running this software uses a lot of electricity, though. So, how do the people and companies running the nodes pay for their electricity bills? Welcome to mining…
The nodes are rewarded for verifying transactions — they’re rewarded with new Bitcoin. This is how new Bitcoins are created. You can compare it to gold mining, in which the miners are rewarded with Gold. In Bitcoin mining, the nodes are the miners — they mine for new Bitcoin.
When a new block of transactions is sent to the blockchain, the miners/nodes will verify the block using an algorithm called PoW (Proof of Work). In PoW, the first miner to verify the block is rewarded with new coins. There are other algorithms used in other blockchains, but we’ll get to that in the next section.
(Remember that if you want to learn more about blockchain technology, you can read our Blockchain Explained guide.)
Next, we have altcoins. Right now, there are more than a thousand altcoins in existence! But don’t let that number scare you — the majority of altcoins are just alternate versions of Bitcoin with minor changes. That’s how they got the name ‘altcoins’.
It’s important to understand, though, that not all altcoins are just alternate versions of Bitcoin. There are some that are very, very different from Bitcoin and have very different goals/purposes.
Some altcoins use different algorithms for Bitcoin. For example, Factom is an altcoin that uses PoS (Proof of Stake). In PoS, there are no miners. Instead, there are stakers.
Stakers are people that verify transactions for rewards, just like miners. But instead of racing to verify a block before anyone else does, they are selected one by one to take their turn. This uses much less electricity because they aren’t thousands of miners using their electricity to try and verify the same block. Instead, there is just one ‘staker’ per block.
Do you see? Not all altcoins are super similar to Bitcoin.
In fact, Ethereum and NEO are examples of altcoins that are super, super different from Bitcoin. You know that Bitcoin is used as a digital currency, right? Well, Ethereum and NEO were not designed to be used as a digital currency. Instead, they were designed as huge platforms for building apps on a blockchain.
That’s right — on Ethereum and NEO, you can actually build your own applications. This is the most common way that new cryptocurrencies are created; they are made on blockchains that allow app building, like Ethereum and NEO.
This is all possible because Ethereum introduced new technology to the crypto world when it launched in 2020. This technology is called a smart contract. A smart contract can automatically execute transactions when certain things happen.
These ‘things’ (also called conditions) are written into the smart contract when it is created. For example, a condition could be something like “WHEN Peter sends 120 Ether into the smart contract, THEN John’s house will be sent to Peter”.
Because of smart contracts, no third party is needed. Bitcoin means there is no third party needed in direct payments, but smart contracts mean there is no third party needed in lots of things — like the sale of a house, the sale of electricity or the sale of stock on the stock market.
Of course, you can’t actually put electricity into a smart contract, can you? So, instead, you put a token into the smart contract that legally represents the electricity. This is one of the best things about smart contracts on Ethereum and NEO etc. — you can tokenize real things and put them on the blockchain.
Tokens (for dApps)
The third main type of cryptocurrency is a token — the same kind we’ve just been talking about! Out of the three main types of cryptocurrency, these are the ones I find most interesting. Compared to the other two main types of cryptocurrency, they are completely unique in the fact that they do not have their own blockchain.
They are used on dApps (decentralized applications); these are the apps I told you about that can be built on blockchains like Ethereum and NEO. The dApps are built to use smart contracts, which is why they use tokens.
Their tokens don’t have to represent a physical thing like electricity or a house, though. They can instead be used to purchase things on the dApp. Either that or they can be used to get certain advantages — things like discounted fees and voting fees.
Tokens always have a price that they can be sold for, which is why some people buy them. Some people buy tokens to sell them later for a higher price, instead of buying them to use them on the dApp.
Because dApps are built on other blockchains (like Ethereum and NEO), a token transaction is still verified by the nodes on the Ethereum or NEO blockchain. This means the transaction fee is still paid with Ether or NEO, and not with the token.
So, to make a transaction on a dApp (i.e. to use a token), you must have some Ether or NEO (or whichever altcoin the dApp is built on) to pay for the transaction fees.
A quick tip: To pronounce dApp correctly, say “dee-app”.
The Top Cryptocurrencies
So, we’ve now covered the different types of cryptocurrency.
In this section, I will cover the top cryptocurrencies. I’ll go over four of the top cryptocurrencies and write a short list of pros and cons that come with each one.
So, let’s take a look!
As we’ve already covered Bitcoin, I won’t repeat myself. So, I’ll skip the Bitcoin description and jump straight into the pros and cons of Bitcoin.
- There will only ever be 21 million Bitcoins. Most of these Bitcoins already have been mined by users. There are currently around 17 million Bitcoins, so there are around 4 million left to be mined. This low limit for Bitcoin is good for the price — if a lot of people want Bitcoin but there aren’t many Bitcoins available, the people that want Bitcoin will pay more for it. That would make the price go up!
- Bitcoin is easier to liquidate than rival cryptocurrency types. This means it is easier to convert Bitcoin into cash. That’s right — because Bitcoin is so popular, it is easier to exchange your Bitcoin for fiat currency like USD and EUR. Also, Bitcoin is on almost every crypto exchange on the internet. This means the trading volume is super high! In fact, it’s the highest of all cryptocurrencies.
- More stores accept Bitcoin than other cryptocurrency types. You are able to buy just about any item using Bitcoin through the hundreds of online sellers that accept the cryptocurrency. This is another way you can liquidate your Bitcoin — rather than convert it back into cash, you can just spend it like you would with cash.
- Bitcoin is the biggest cryptocurrency. Bitcoin was the first crypto, and it is the biggest. It currently dominates over 40% of the market, which is huge! Many people believe that Bitcoin will always be the biggest (but you should remember that’s just an opinion and that no one actually knows what will happen).
- Bitcoin fluctuates a lot. This means the price of Bitcoin changes a lot every day. In fact, the Mt. Gox collapse actually caused Bitcoin’s price to fall 50% below what it was the day before. Some investors like fluctuations, but the people who lose money because of fluctuations, definitely do not like them.
- Bitcoin may be replaced by a better cryptocurrency. As we mentioned in the section on altcoins, there are hundreds of variations on Bitcoin in existence today. Bitcoin is almost 10 years old now. Any of these newer coins could eventually replace Bitcoin — they are newer and further advanced.
- People still use Bitcoin for a crime. The reputation of Bitcoin is improving since its early days on Silk Road, but it’s still not perfect. We only hear of a few people being prosecuted for using Bitcoin illegally, but there are probably a lot more people that use it illegally and don’t get caught. These include things like scams and avoiding taxes.
In contrast to Bitcoin, Ethereum is a platform that allows people to build dApps, tokens and smart contracts. Its currency is called Ether (ETH).
Earlier, we looked at how important smart contracts were and how many possibilities they unlocked for the future. Now, let’s look at the main pros and cons for Ethereum:
- Users of dApps built on Ethereum will always need Ether. They need Ether to pay for transaction fees on the dApps because the dApps run on the Ethereum blockchain. So, just like the peanut butter jelly sandwich, Ether will never go out of style!
- Many new projects are being built on Ethereum. Most of these projects will take years to develop, however, a lot of them could be huge when they are completed.
- Speed. Ethereum can process transactions in a matter of seconds, whereas Bitcoin’s transactions take upwards of 10 minutes.
- There are many more Ether coins than there are Bitcoins. Earlier, we talked about how part of Bitcoin’s value comes from the fact that there is a limited supply. This is not the case with Ethereum — there are almost 100,000,000 Ether coins at the moment and they will never stop being created. However, the rate at which they are being produced will slow down greatly, so it isn’t much of a problem in my opinion.
Basically, Ripple is a blockchain that is designed to be used by banks to make their payments faster. It is known as the banker’s coin, and there are many partnerships with global banks currently being worked on.
- Big, well-respected companies (like global banks) are trusting Ripple. Huge financial organizations (such as banks and governments) have partnered with Ripple. Many more are yet to partner but have plans to. So, as an alternative to fiat currency, Ripple may be the best option for you within the world of finance. Because it is working with governments, the power it has to be widespread could be the reason it succeeds.
- Unlike other cryptocurrencies, Ripple isn’t decentralized. Instead, it is centralized. The company behind Ripple (called Ripple Labs) owns most of the Ripple tokens (XRP). So, if they wanted to, they could sell all of their tokens and the price of XRP would go down a lot. This is extremely unlikely because they wouldn’t want to sell all of their tokens. But, I have to make a point about it because it is still possible.
Litecoin is a fork of Bitcoin! So, basically, the blockchain of Litecoin used to be a part of Bitcoin’s blockchain, but it split when the Litecoin update was offered. So, it’s very similar but it has different features to Bitcoin. It was created to improve upon what Bitcoin had created.
Litecoin has been in the news a lot lately because it will be the first cryptocurrency to use the Lightning Network. The Lightning Network solves a lot of issues for cryptocurrencies, such as scalability — using the Lighting Network, Litecoin will be able to process many more transactions per second.
- Litecoin is both faster and much cheaper than Bitcoin. Litecoin transactions take seconds, like Ethereum transactions. Bitcoin transactions take upwards of 10 minutes.
Also, Bitcoin transactions can be costly, which makes them pointless for sending small amounts. As Litecoin transactions are much cheaper, Litecoin is a lot better for micropayments (small payments), which is why it is called “Lite” coin.
- Litecoin is still only a slight improvement in Bitcoin. If Bitcoin can improve so that it can scale and offer cheaper & faster transactions, there might not be much need for Litecoin.
For more information on Litecoin, its position in the market and its pros and cons, read our Litecoin Price Prediction guide.
After reading this guide, you should be much more familiar with the most popular cryptocurrencies and the different types of cryptocurrency that exist. You know how they are different from one another, and you understand some of the pros and cons of each.
This puts you in a much better position to start doing further research and making your own opinion on each of them.
So now that you’ve read this guide, what do you think about the top cryptocurrencies and the different types of cryptocurrency? Which is your favorite? Let me know!
These 7 Stocks Under $10 Are Making Big Moves Higher
Aug 5, 2020 8:56 AM EDT
As part of your daily routine as an active trader or investor, it’s important to track the stocks in the market that are making the biggest percentage gains and the biggest percentage losses.
Stocks that are making large moves to the upside are favorites among short-term traders who want to capture some of that massive volatility. Stocks that are making big-percentage moves are usually in play because their sector is becoming attractive or they have a major fundamental catalyst such as a recent earnings release. Sometimes stocks making big moves have been hit with an analyst upgrade or an analyst downgrade.
Stocks that are in favor and making large moves is a segment of the market that I tweet about on a regular basis.These are also the exact type of stocks that I love to trade and alert to my subscribers in real-time.
Regardless of the reason behind it, when a stock makes a large-percentage move, it is often just the start of a new major trend — a trend that can lead to huge profits. If you time your trade correctly, combining with fundamental trends, discipline and sound money management, you will be well on your way to investment success.
With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at a several stocks under $10 that are making large moves to the upside.
- Thursday’s Range: $5.09-$5.95
- 52-Week Range: $4.04-$23.50
- Thursday’s Volume: 6.99 million
- Three-Month Average Volume: 469,305
Ocular Therapeutix (OCUL) – Get Report , a biopharmaceutical company, focuses on the development and commercialization of therapies for diseases and conditions of the eye using its proprietary hydrogel platform technology in the U.S. This stock closed up 34% to $5.63 in Thursday’s trading session.
From a technical perspective, Ocular Therapeutix gapped-up huge on Thursday back above its 20-day moving average of $4.92 a share and into breakout territory above some near-term overhead resistance levels at $4.53 to $4.85 a share with monster upside volume flows. This high-volume explosion to the upside is now quickly pushing shares of Ocular Therapeutix within range of triggering another significant breakout trade. That trade will trigger if this stock manages to take out Thursday’s intraday high of $5.95 a share and then once it clears its 50-day moving average of $6.23 a share with high volume.
Traders should now look for long-biased trades in Ocular Therapeutix as long as it’s trending above Thursday’s intraday low of $5.09 a share or above its 20-day moving average of $4.92 a share and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that registers near or above 469,305 shares. If that breakout triggers soon, then this stock will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $6.74 to around $7.50 a share. Any high-volume move above $7.50 will then give this stock a chance to re-fill some of its previous gap-down-day zone from June that started at $12.43 a share.
- Thursday’s Range: $2.43-$2.66
- 52-Week Range: $1.44-$10.28
- Thursday’s Volume: 505,000
- Three-Month Average Volume: 535,502
Intelsat (I) – Get Report provides satellite communications services worldwide. This stock closed up 6% to $2.64 in Thursday’s trading session.
From a technical perspective, Intelsat ripped sharply higher on Thursday back above its 20-day moving average of $2.62 a share with decent upside volume flows. This stock recently formed a double bottom chart pattern, after shares found some buying interest at $2.12 a share. Following that potential bottom, this stock has now started to uptrend and it’s quickly trending within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade above some key overhead resistance levels. That trade will trigger if this stock manages to take out its 50-day moving average of $2.75 a share and then once it clears more near-term overhead resistance at $2.77 a share with high volume.
Traders should now look for long-biased trades in Intelsat as long as it’s trending above Thursday’s intraday low of $2.43 a share and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 535,502 shares. If that breakout develops soon, then this stock will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $2.97 to $3.10, or even its 200-day moving average of $3.51 a share.
- Thursday’s Range: $1.23-$1.37
- 52-Week Range: $0.48-$1.94
- Thursday’s Volume: 2.35 million
- Three-Month Average Volume: 2.98 million
Exco Resources (XCO) , an independent oil and natural gas company, engages in the acquisition, exploration, exploitation, development and production of onshore oil and natural gas properties with a focus on shale resource plays in the U.S. This stock closed up 8.1% to $1.33 in Thursday’s trading session.
From a technical perspective, Exco Resources spiked sharply higher on Thursday right above its 50-day moving average of $1.20 a share and back above its 20-day moving average of $1.30 a share with decent upside volume flows. This bump to the upside is now quickly pushing shares of Exco Resources within range of triggering a big breakout trade above some key overhead resistance levels. That trade will trigger if this stock manages to take out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $1.40 to $1.42 a share and then above more resistance levels at $1.43 to $1.50 a share with high volume.
Traders should now look for long-biased trades in Exco Resources as long as it’s trending above its 50-day moving average of $1.20 a share and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 2.98 million shares. If that breakout takes hold soon, then this stock will set up to re-fill some of its previous gap-down-day zone from May that started at $1.91 a share.
- Thursday’s Range: $8.88-$9.84
- 52-Week Range: $7.80-$19.61
- Thursday’s Volume: 4.20 million
- Three-Month Average Volume: 1.66 million
Gogo (GOGO) – Get Report , through its subsidiaries, provides communications services to the commercial and business aviation markets in the U.S. and internationally. This stock closed up 15.9% to $9.76 in Thursday’s trading session.
From a technical perspective, Gogo gapped-up sharply higher on Thursday right off its 50-day moving average of $8.88 a share with monster upside volume flows. This high-volume rip to the upside also pushed shares of Gogo into breakout territory, since the stock took out some near-term overhead resistance levels at $9 to $9.02 a share. This stock is now quickly trending within range of triggering another big breakout trade. That trade will trigger if this stock manages to take out Thursday’s intraday high of $9.84 a share and then once it clears some more near-term resistance at $9.89 a share with high volume.
Traders should now look for long-biased trades in Gogo as long as it’s trending above its previous breakout level at $9 a share or above its 50-day moving average of $8.88 a share and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 1.66 million shares. If that breakout fires off soon, then this stock will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $11 to $11.50, or even $11.75 to $12 a share.
- Thursday’s Range: $9.25-$9.87
- 52-Week Range: $9.00-$20.37
- Thursday’s Volume: 2.64 million
- Three-Month Average Volume: 768,211
Rubicon Project (RUBI) – Get Report , a technology company, engages in automating the buying and selling of advertising. This stock closed up 5.3% to $9.69 in Thursday’s trading session.
From a technical perspective, Rubicon Project spiked sharply higher on Thursday right above its new 52-week low of $9 a share with strong upside volume flows. This stock recently gapped-down sharply lower from around $14 a share to its new 52-week low of $9 a share with heavy downside volume flows. Following that move, shares of Rubicon Project have now started to rebound off that $9 low, and it broke above Wednesday’s high of $9.70 a share. Market players should now look for a continuation move to the upside in the short-term if this stock manages to clear Thursday’s intraday high of $9.87 a share with strong volume.
Traders should now look for long-biased trades in Rubicon Project as long as it’s trending above Thursday’s intraday low of $9.25 a share or above its new 52-week low of $9 a share and then once it sustains a move or close above Thursday’s intraday high of $9.87 a share with volume that hits near or above 766,211 shares. If that move gets underway soon, then this stock will set up to re-fill some of its previous gap-down-day zone that started near $14 a share.
- Thursday’s Range: $1.22-$1.30
- 52-Week Range: $0.65-$2.02
- Thursday’s Volume: 2.12 million
- Three-Month Average Volume: 1.36 million
Abraxas Petroleum (AXAS) – Get Report , an independent energy company, engages in the acquisition, exploitation, development and production of oil and gas properties in the U.S. This stock closed up 4.8% to $1.29 in Thursday’s trading session.
From a technical perspective, Abraxas Petroleum spiked sharply higher on Thursday right above its 20-day moving average of $1.20 a share with above-average volume. This high-volume spike to the upside is now quickly pushing this stock within range of triggering a big breakout trade above some key overhead resistance levels. That trade will trigger if shares of Abraxas Petroleum manage to take out Thursday’s intraday high of $1.30 a share and then above some near-term overhead resistance at $1.31 a share with high volume.
Traders should now look for long-biased trades in Abraxas Petroleum as long as it’s trending above its 20-day moving average of $1.20 a share or above its 50-day moving average of $1.17 a share and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 1.36 million shares. If that breakout materializes soon, then this stock will set up to re-fill some of its previous gap-down-day zone from May that started at $1.45 a share.
Basic Energy Services
- Thursday’s Range: $0.67-$0.82
- 52-Week Range: $0.61-$7.18
- Thursday’s Volume: 3.36 million
- Three-Month Average Volume: 1.66 million
Basic Energy Services (BAS) – Get Report provides well site services to oil and natural gas drilling and producing companies in the U.S. This stock closed up 11.3% to 75 cents per share in Thursday’s trading session.
From a technical perspective, Basic Energy Services exploded sharply higher on Thursday right above its new 52-week low of 61 cents per share with strong upside volume flows. This stock has been downtrending badly over the last three months, with shares moving lower off its high of $3.25 a share to its new 52-week low of 61 cents per share. During that downtrend, shares of Basic Energy Services have been consistently making lower highs and lower lows, which is bearish technical price action. That said, this stock has now started to rebound off that 61 cents low, and it’s quickly trending within range of triggering a big breakout trade. That trade will trigger if this stock manages to clear Thursday’s intraday high of 82 cents per share and then once it takes out some more key overhead resistance levels at 90 to 94 cents per share with high volume.
Traders should now look for long-biased trades in Basic Energy Services as long as it’s trending above 70 cents per share or above Thursday’s intraday low of 67 cents per share and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that hits near or above 1.66 million shares. If that breakout kicks off soon, then this stock will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at its 20-day moving average of $1.07 to $1.30, or even $1.44 to its 50-day moving average of $1.52 a share.
Disclosure: This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.
15 Big Companies That Accept Bitcoin and Other Cryptocurrencies That Might Indicate Where We are Heading
What is a cryptocurrency anyway? It’s tough to explain in terms of mechanics and functioning, as cryptocurrencies encompass many different fields of technology and finance. Basically, these currencies are an anonymous, virtual way of making transactions. They don’t abide by laws about taxation, control or monitoring. It’s also impossible to trace the sender or the receiver. They are safe, but are they reliable?
Reliability as a term can become a little bit vague in the field of cryptocurrencies. They function on the same principle as shares on the stock exchange. Their value is determined by the popularity they have at the moment. The first and most popular cryptocurrency is Bitcoin, created in 2009. It became a cool way of making illegal transactions over the internet, such as drugs and illegal arms. In fact, the first thing purchased by Bitcoin was a pizza for 10.000.
Since then, things have changed. Bitcoin began gaining momentum, with its current worth estimated around $16.000. That’s a lot of money going around. Because of this lucrative amount of money, many banks and companies have decided to get in on the fun and start accepting Bitcoin and other currencies as valid money.
In order to depict just how important cryptocurrencies are, you just have to see how many companies acknowledge them. These 15 big brands are in the cryptocurrency business and are the frontrunners of a new world order, bringing forth a new financial and economic revolution.
Sometimes, we tend to forget the enormous significance of WordPress and what they do for the blogging world. WordPress is the world’s most premier service for providing free blog services. If you don’t have enough money to start a website, but have something to say to the world – you can count on WordPress. Their free services are impeccable, but they also possess a number of paid perks.
When Bitcoin started gaining traction a few months ago, WordPress decided to take the risk and allow users to pay via Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies. Most people saw this method as a waste of time and catering to a limited audience, but WordPress had the last laugh. With Bitcoin being worth thousands upon thousands of dollars more each day, the company is winning in every way possible.
WordPress supports tens of millions of websites and has always been one of the frontrunners when it comes to online innovation. If you’re interested in paying using cryptocurrency, you can do so via the BitPay transaction service. It’s a safe and reliable of making sure your coins reach the desired destination. Currently, there are no problems with the payment service, as the company does an excellent job of handling existing ways of payment.
Every website created via WordPress and based on it has the option of providing plugins which can create new payment opportunities. From the starting offer with Bitcoin, such websites have expanded onto Ethereum territory in a major way. This not only benefits WordPress as a company but business ventures which use the platform. It paves a way for easier business and a world which leans on a decentralized and free economy.
Sometimes, people cause a big stir over the ethic principle of non-profit organizations asking for donations. In other words, some people don’t feel that these are really donations if they have to be urged. Wikipedia made such a move not too long ago, urging their readers to donate a symbolic sum of money in order to maintain the self-sufficient company. Many people did so, but there was one innovation in the field of financial reassurance. Wikipedia thus became one of the first companies to allow Bitcoin payments, and with much success.
Donations increased from that moment in 2020 and Wikipedia never looked back. Aside from gaining financial stability more than ever, the famous online encyclopedia accomplished something even more significant. They have shown the world that they mean business when it comes to adapting to the future, something many companies lack in the present day. Wikipedia also made their donation amounts transparent, just so people have more faith in their intentions. This was also a pretty good move from their side.
In the midst of this cryptocurrency transition period, the world needs more and more companies that will show us the way to the new era of financial transaction. Wikipedia has always been a liberal outlet that supports revolutionary measure throughout the free world. Thanks to this move three years ago, many companies and brands have followed suit and decided to become open to cryptocurrency.
Because of this increased donation seeking tempo, many thought that Wikipedia would give up on their free content policy. Thankfully, they didn’t disrespect their loyal readers and fans, much to the delight of the public and those fans. It’s a wonderful example in the present day business world.
In every business industry, there is one brand that always seems to be one step ahead of everyone else, but not in an overly intrusive manner. Sure, there are successful brands that rule over the world for certain time periods, but they haven’t been able to sustain that dominance. That’s because they’re too imposing sometimes. Something that can never be beaten is the power and influence of tradition. When you’re making superfast sports cars, a unique sense of innovation and a classy traditional maintenance are all you really need. And nobody embodies that combination more than Lamborghini, the Italian car manufacturing legends.
The sharp edges and a lack of curves are what made the Italian company world famous. These are all parts of their tradition, alongside the quality engines that can withstand races, marathons and every mechanical endeavor known to man. With that tradition comes incredible innovation. Aside from cutting edge technology, Lamborghini brought innovation to the world of financial transactions. In September this year, Lamborghini announced that they will start accepting Bitcoin as a payment method for their cars. This move caused a substantial amount of stir with the public.
The big news came in cooperation with Lamborghini Newport Beach, an authorized dealership that works in and around California. The move was made due to a teaming-up with Eggify, a site that is classified when it comes to Bitcoin transactions. Many politicians and experts criticized the move.
They deem that such a decision will make it easier for criminals and mobsters to “flex” their expensive cars, as there will be no trace of their transactions whatsoever. But, generally, this is seen as a positive move that will only benefit everyone.
4. Save the Children
Charities have always been organizations that depended on an ease of financial transactions, ever since the dawn of time. Usually, charitable organizations and foundations require a constant influx of financial resources. This is especially true if there is a crisis on our hands. In that case, money needs to flow in as fast as possible. How can this be accomplished? There needs to be a way that not only allows the sender to perform the transaction fast but also a fee waiver. Traditional banks and other institutions charge enormous fees even for charity organizations. The answer lies in the wonderful and mysterious world of cryptocurrencies, especially Bitcoin.
Save the Children is one of the most significant charities for minors around the world. They support and aid millions of kids in trouble, around the world. Be it kids from war-torn countries, abuse victims or puberty – they provide the necessary resource and guidance they all need. Due to the magnitude of their operations, they need lots of money. In order to, as a non-profit organization, help the children, they’ve struck a deal with BitPay in 2020. The result of that deal was the beginning of Bitcoin donations. They quickly recognized the advantages and strengths of this revolutionary payment system.
Nowadays, they raise money much quicker. This is because, regardless of the time and place, Bitcoin transactions and instant and immediate. Furthermore, BitPay has actually agreed to waive any transaction fees when it comes to Save the Children. This is incredibly cheap and efficient when it comes to helping those in need.
Children around the world have benefited from this partnership. Such a swift plan of action is much better than the standard, unreliable and shady banks. Do what’s best for the children!
Dating sites oftentimes function in very strange ways. When they first started gaining traction, they were just free platforms with an aim to match people with the same interests, opinions, and physical preferences. However, all of this changed when the aforementioned sites started gaining popularity. The longest standing business rule is that no brand, phenomena or thing can be non-profit forever. Thus, dating sites soon began introducing paid features. They played on people’s greed and loneliness, in a certain way. Payments became more frequent and app developers soon saw a boom in their endeavors.
The age of premium features was born and the era of equality in terms of services was officially over. Even after the introduction of paid services and features, there still was room for improvement in that particular field. Moreover, those transactions were getting more and more frequent as time went on. Developers and entrepreneurs have expressed a need for more resources in terms of financial efficiency.
This need was first brought to light when the dating site Badoo suddenly allowed Bitcoin payments in 2020. Such a move was seen as a breakthrough in terms of following the rising financial trends. More and more people are putting faith into Bitcoin and the deal between Badoo and Smart2Pay was a great example of evolution.
In order to get more swipes or to see who liked your profile, you can get those features in exchange for a small fraction of a Bitcoin. There is also one more added benefit to this whole Bitcoin payment scheme. Many people are embarrassed about using dating apps and don’t want to leave any traces. Bitcoin removes the existence of payment traces and records.
Gift giving has always been a viable means of earning money for the companies that provide those gifts. Early in the 2000s, many online gift stores soared from the then young internet. It became a popular venture, as people weren’t limited by the offers of their own vicinity. Although it wasn’t as stable or reliable as physical gift purchasing, it made things much easier for people who weren’t around a wide choice of gifts. Within that myriad of gift-purchasing sites, one stood out, and that is Gyft. They usually provide gift cards at not so steep prices.
The appeal of Gyft was mostly in the fact that they give simplicity to a world where gift purchasing is already a complicated venture. However, in 2020, they made a move that allowed their popularity to skyrocket even more. After some speculation, Gyft decided to start accepting Bitcoin as a viable means of payment. Because Bitcoin hasn’t really taken off at that time, many experts and customers were suspicious about this strange way of amassing a fortune and selling gift cards.
However, there is more to this venture that it seemed at first. Gyft allowed customers to bypass the Amazon payment system. They gave us a workaround which enabled us to buy Amazon gift cards via Bitcoin. Given the fact that many people in developing country didn’t have access to credit cards at the time, this form of payment was proven to be a hit in the making. It immediately increased their revenues, as it gave many people an opportunity to fool Amazon.
Unfortunately, Jeff Bezos decided that Bitcoin is too volatile for constant use and, therefore, he made the decision of removing Bitcoin payments altogether. We’re sure this was just a move to be safe, not a final decision. As Bitcoin rises, Jeff will surely recognize its significance.
When you’re talking about groundbreaking innovations and changes in the market, there is one company whose name became a synonym for “revolutionary”. That company is none other than Microsoft, the legendary software corporation started all those years ago. Ever since their inception, Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer have been working hard not to be like everyone else. Much of their decisions were revolutionary and groundbreaking, as they became known for precisely that. It the midst of their ventures, they started providing cheap and reliable software for the growing trend of personal computers. It’s no wonder that innovation has been the main element of their development as a brand.
In 2020, they made a revolutionary step by allowing their customers to pay for Xbox and Windows products using Bitcoins. Bill Gates has always been a man of futuristic thoughts, so it’s no wonder that he came to know the potential of cryptocurrency this fast. Fans reacted positively to this decisions, even more, because the payments were made possible by Coinbase, a respectable means of making Bitcoin transactions.
Games, DLC, and even other perks can easily be purchased using the Coinbase transaction service. You can also purchase the Windows OS and even Office products, along with everything in their catalog. According to data, this certainly improved Microsoft’s business ventures, as more and more people are into cryptocurrency, both as a means of payment and as a trend.
Bill Gates himself has stated in a few interviews that he expects the world to adopt this new way of making transactions. He is a man oriented towards the future and the secrets and benefits the present day world holds for us. His predictions about Bitcoin came true, as its value further increased as the months after Microsoft’s announcement went by.
8. 1-800-Flowers.Com Inc
Flowers is somewhere on the bottom of the list of things you would expect to hear connected with Bitcoin. It may seem outrageous at first, but the whole notion of purchasing flowers via cryptocurrency actually makes perfect sense when you give it a long thought. Basically, florists have always been a big industry, given the immense amount of situation where you would need flowers. Funerals, anniversaries, weddings and dates – all of these situations are very frequent in our society and make florists a lot of money in the first place.
Thus, when 1-800-Flowers.com, the world’s most renowned online flower retailer announced the introduction of Bitcoin transactions, nobody was all that surprised. Given the fact how much money is made in the industry, it’s completely logical that they wanted to get on the cryptocurrency hype train. Such a warranted decision allows people to make purchases much easier than usual, given the fact that Bitcoin transactions hold many perks for the users of the renowned cryptocurrency. Anonymity, efficiency and a lack of trace is the best trio of arguments one can think of in this case.
1-800-Flowers.Com Inc became the first flower retailer to accept purchases via cryptocurrency, something that was unheard of. Moreover, their profits skyrocketed and people became more interested in their brand. This move also made us realize something more important. Bitcoin isn’t just for shady transactions on the dark web or some rich businessmen. It’s precisely tailor-made for everyday transactions and thing we need.
Because of this notion, one day we may completely disregard physical money. Bitcoin is simply more efficient, more immediate and better suited to our needs. Although it may be hard to realize, we live in an outdated timeline, full of things that might be bettered. The first step is to rework our economic system, by introducing bitcoin.
It’s hard to imagine the present-day world without PayPal, isn’t it? The famous money transferring and safe-keeping service has embedded itself deep into the very functioning of our world. Long gone are the days when you had to think about the physical location of someone that needed cash to be wired. Before, you either had to mail money or go to a bank outpost and handle the bills yourself. This is not to mention the hassle with IBAN, SWIFTs, and other annoying details. Today, with only a name or an email, you can handle millions of dollars in a matter of milliseconds. Convenient? Of course.
PayPal has successfully dominated the convenient side of today’s market, but they weren’t satisfied with the number of things they offered. Sure, they had different currencies, but a new trend soon caught their attention.
The Bitcoin craze was catching on in 2020, and PayPal wanted in on the fun. After a few weeks of negotiations and speculation, they made the grand announcement. In a partnership with BitPay, GoCoin, and Coinbase, you could begin using Bitcoin as your currency when using PayPal. Of course, many disputed the validity of the very decision, but it turned out to be an impeccable one.
This wasn’t the end of the relationship between PayPal and Bitcoin. In 2020, the company announced yet another cryptocurrency-aided feature. This time, they partnered with Coinbase to allow the service’s users to cash in Bitcoins into their PayPal account. Such a decision means much more than just mere acceptance of a new virtual currency. This move signified PayPal as the direct middle-man in making Bitcoin a reality in terms of cash conversion.
You wouldn’t expect to hear the words cryptocurrency and fast food in the same sentence, but it’s time to get used to stuff like this. It’s the 21 st century and we’re eying a revolution on all fronts. This is especially true for even the pillars of everyday life, like fast food purchases. One company choose to take a step into the future and make us all gasp in jealousy.
Subway functions on an interesting principle. The mother company allows individual shops to be bought by entrepreneurs and to be run by them. However, this is not all. These franchises can be modified to an extent, meaning that the owner is free to add what he wants to the mix. A few years ago, a couple of owners decided to try and add Bitcoin as a means of payment in their shops.
This caused a lot of stir and was deemed unnecessary by many people. However, this move prompted many businesses around the world catch on to the hype wave and ride out into the sunset of the financial revolution.
There are even existing rumors that Subway will start accepting Ethereum, which, by all means, would be an even better move. Ethereum is deemed more stable by some investors, but Bitcoin is currently showing no signs of stopping whatsoever. A brilliant decision nevertheless. It’s important to companies that are thinking ahead in every field.
11. Virgin Galactic
The space race is heating up recent years. More and more companies and investors are trying to open up the field for semi-affordable space travel. Yes, something that was straight out of a science fiction novel is being actively worked on by the world’s elite. Space X, Boeing, NASA and many other private and state companies are racing for the crown of the starter of space tourism.
It’s a little less serious than the Soviet-US space race all those decades ago, but it could still yield significant consequences on our world. One of the frontrunners in this race is Virgin Galactic, the brainchild of one Richard Branson. The iconic billionaire entrepreneur is the one who is to thank for much of the advancement in this field in particular.
In 2020, he made news by allowing people to book their places on trips to outer space using cryptocurrency. This not only meant a move in the right direction, but an excellent push to the then-struggling Bitcoin movement. It’s important to have the world’s elite supporting such a revolutionary cause, as their voices are the loudest and can be heard anywhere.
Richard himself has stated that he loves cryptocurrency and that he is a firm believe it will eradicate money once and for all. One of the world’s most famous entrepreneurs, investors and CEOs is definitely a good figure to have as a supporter. Moreover, he even confirmed that millions in Bitcoin payments have already been made. An amazing development nevertheless.
When Facebook got off for the first time, nobody imagined it would become this big. At the beginning, people were praising for its immediacy and an efficient interface. It was being used as a means of communication more and more. People liked it and it soon brought other useful perks to the table. It became much more than the initially speculated social media network. Weather reports, link sharing, music posting – everything on this list made Facebook what it is today. But one thing made the popular network really explode and that is Facebook games. Yes, games caused the first big boom more than a decade ago.
Amongst the games we could see on Facebook at the time, most were run and created by one company – Zynga. They were solely responsible for hours upon hours of addictive gameplay, all at the comfort of your social media network.
They were the carriers of a new revolution and wanted to go all out and be even more revolutionary. One reason they were popular and their profits were sky high was the notion of in-game purchases. For small amounts of money, you can have an advantage over players. That could be done with regular money, until the board of directors decided to add Bitcoin to the mix, via BitPay. It was a wise move that allowed them to be even closer to their customers.
Only after a few days, their shares started skyrocketing, as people began praising their embracing of the new and exciting cryptocurrency. They were actually the first gaming company to accept Bitcoin as a means of payment, all those months ago. Somehow, it’s still a good decision that will always linger in the hearts of fans of games like Farmville and others.
We’ve somehow established a trend on this list. Company after company has reestablished the meaning of “service”, immediately bettering the way we look at that specific business sector. This is true when it comes to gaming, too. As PC gaming started taking off, you had to buy CDs of your favorite games. It was the only viable way of trying out what you wanted to play. There was simply no other way. Piracy came along as a free alternative, but it’s never a safe nor secure way to indulge in something. People needed a cloud service, just for games, where they didn’t depend on physical copies of games to play them. As a result, Steam was born.
Valve, the company behind Half Life, decided to provide their fans with the first gaming cloud service. All you had to do was purchase a game and you could download it to an unlimited number of computers and play all you want. Your machine could burn down, but it wouldn’t affect your Steam account. The payments were already easy and enjoyable, so Steam wanted to further facilitate the notion of online payments for PC games.
Thus, in 2020, Steam finally allowed users to pay for games using BitPay, something many people have disputed, but since understood. The move was a success, and it had higher motives than just capitalization.
Steam has users in many developing and less developed countries. There, access to credit cards is not so easy, especially for young people who aren’t independent yet. Because of this, Bitcoin provides everyone with an excellent solution to bypass any boundaries. Cryptocurrencies know no borders, taxes or similar primitive regulations that plague the economy of the entire world.
When it comes to eCommerce, we’re talking about one of the pillars of the modern trade world. A long time ago, you were forced to venture into a physical store and choose whatever you wanted. This created problems for both sides, the provider and the customer. If you, as the customer, wanted something, you were forced to appear right on the spot, no matter how far the store actually is. The provider also had everything ready for the transaction, without any delays whatsoever. Such a sales model was unsustainable and needed to change as the years went by. The solution came in the shape of the eCommerce platform.
Using eCommerce, you can purchase anything you want with just a click or two. It’s incredibly easy and you can expect everything you ordered to right at your doorstep in less than one week. Such convenience was unheard of, and one of the leading eCommerce platforms, Shopify, immediately stood out.
They created a business method that many other sites religiously followed and made use of. They were notorious for their easy payments systems, alongside many other perks. However, they wanted to stand out even more and take matters into their own hands. In order to do this, a decision was to be made.
In 2020, they were frontrunners in the Bitcoin race and allowed their customers to pay with Bitcoin. This wasn’t just for services of the platform, but for every merchant, too. The growing cryptocurrency signified potential and Shopify knew how to make use of the opportunity. Since then, their shares net worth and profits have gone dramatically up. It’s amazing what one smart decision can do to affect an entire business.
When we’re talking about innovation and innovators, you can’t miss one man. Elon Musk is one of the most innovative human beings in recent history. With his shrewd business tactics, revolutionary ideas and humanitarian work – he changed the face of the world forever. He managed to do so through hard work and an open mind. Having a sense of evolution around you can be a great aid in terms of being able to instill change in the environment. That view of the world is directly embodied in Elon’s biggest company yet, Tesla.
Just like the genius inventor whose name the company bears, Tesla seeks to bring a revolution to the surface of our planet. Tesla cars are purely run by electricity and rely solely on it, without the need for fuel or any other non-renewable energy source. As if this wasn’t innovative enough, Elon Musk had his sights on more emerging trends in the world. The most significant of these was the rise of one cryptocurrency a few years ago, the Bitcoin. Elon, an advocate of freeing up the economy saw this as an opportunity not only for the whole world but for his company, too.
By allowing vendors to sell the Tesla Models S and X for Bitcoins, Musk has yet again shown a sense of doing business the most efficient way. With Bitcoin making boom after boom, it’s safe to say that the South-African entrepreneur and visionary is happily smiling. And he should, as he was one of the main advocates of cryptocurrency from the beginning. Every single step Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other currencies have taken is directly connected to Musk and his influence. A man of the future, nevertheless.
Three Reasons Cryptocurrency Is Making Its Way Into Retirement Plans
(Disclaimer: Author holds investments in Bitcoin.)
Let’s start with some assumptions.
Let’s assume that, as a typical Forbes reader, you’ve frequently heard or read about the importance of actively planning for retirement. Let’s further assume that — more than likely — you’re already diligently trying to max out annual 401(k) contributions, taking advantage of any available company matches, putting more money away in an IRA, etc. These things are probably step No. 1 for retirement planning.
Unfortunately, for most Americans, there is no step No. 2.
In the retirement business, this is called “contribute and coast,” and in general, it’s by default — not by design. Effective retirement planning requires regular reassessment to make sure your investments are aligned with your goals and that you are actively shifting assets as the financial landscape evolves.
That evolution, in a nutshell, has caused many in the past year to take a close look at cryptocurrency.
Cryptocurrencies represent a fundamental new asset class — one that bears careful consideration for investors. To understand why, consider the example of Real Estate Investment Trusts, or REITs. The concept of a REIT first emerged as an asset class for legal investment in 1960, and while investment grew slowly in the following decades, it didn’t really take off until the 1990s. Those who got in early profited handsomely.
Similarly, cryptocurrencies represent one of the newest, fastest growing and most intriguing asset classes around. But do they belong in a retirement account? Many Americans believe so. Here are three reasons some are starting to create a cryptocurrency IRA as part of their overall retirement portfolio:
Reason 1: Diversification
As even neophyte investors know, diversification is a powerful strategy for minimizing exposure to any single asset class while still allowing for growth. In retirement planning, for example, a common way to diversify is to invest your savings into multiple mutual funds — some for growth, some for income, etc. — and then manually or automatically rebalance your portfolio every so often. This rebalancing is important to diversification, as it ensures the fastest growing part of your portfolio doesn’t skew your desired allocation.
Yet most tax-deferred retirement accounts limit diversification to just two asset classes: stocks and bonds. True diversification means spreading investment across many different types of assets: not just stocks and bonds but also real estate, precious metals, etc. So, if you believe that cryptocurrency is an exciting new asset class with intriguing upside potential, it only stands to reason that you should consider including it in a diversified portfolio.
Reason 2: Government Hedge
It’s broadly recognized that cryptocurrency isn’t under direct control by any government, which is one of the characteristics that fuel its growth as an attractive form of alternative currency. That same consideration applies to cryptocurrency from an investment standpoint.
Government policies and pronouncements can strongly impact Wall Street and the bond market. Moreover, central banks can and do debase traditional currency such as the U.S. Dollar with changing approaches to trade and monetary policy. In contrast, cryptocurrency is largely immune to the impact of such changes by the government. In this regard, it can be considered a contrarian asset class, much like gold, which can move in the opposite direction of prevailing markets. This also adds credence to its use in diversification.
Reason 3: Long-Term Growth Potential
Let’s make one thing clear: While cryptocurrency may prove to be a good long-term investment, at the moment, it’s also highly volatile. And, as with any volatile investment, what can be good for your pocketbook over the long haul can be bad for your heart in the short term.
Do you know what else can be a volatile investment? Stocks. During the Great Recession of 2007-2009, U.S. equities lost approximately 50% of their value in fewer than 18 months.
Fortunately, we’re not talking about day trading. Retirement planning is all about taking the long view, counting on the accrual of tax-deferred benefits over decades to reach an eventual milestone. That long investment horizon helped those saving for retirement ride out the Great Recession. Do you remember the low point for the Dow Jones Industrial Average during the crash? It was 6,547. But just as important, do you remember its highest point before the crash? That was 14,164. Approximately a decade later, the market is up dramatically over the Great Recession’s high and low points.
Similarly, while Bitcoin (to use just one cryptocurrency example) is significantly down so far in 2020, it is dramatically up compared to 12 months ago. If you were a long-term investor, you’d be quite happy with your returns thus far, with Bitcoin doubling to tripling in value from its May-June 2020 range of $2,000-$3,200 to current June 2020 prices over $7,000.
Does cryptocurrency belong in your retirement account?
Only you can answer the question of whether cryptocurrency is a smart investment for your personal retirement goals. For an increasing number of investors and future retirees interested in diversification, a hedge against changing government policies and the prospect of long-term growth, the answer is yes. What’s the process for safely and easily adding a variety of cryptocurrencies to your retirement plan? That’s something we’ll explore in a future article.
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