-Master Mathew D’Souza –IX
(This article was published in Times NIE, 26th March 2018)
What is cryptocurrency?
Cryptocurrency is a form of digital money designed to be secure and, in many cases, anonymous. It is a currency associated with the internet that uses cryptography, the process of converting legible information into an almost difficult to crack code, to track purchases and transfer of assets. Bitcoin, created in 2009, was the first decentralized cryptocurrency.
What is cryptography?
Cryptography was born out of the need to secure communication in the Second World War. It has evolved in the digital era to secure communications, information and money online.
Cryptography converts ordinary text into unintelligible text and vice-versa. It is a method of storing and transmitting data in a particular form so that only those for whom it is intended can read and process it. Cryptography not only protects data from theft or alteration, but can also be used for user authentication.
The first cryptocurrency was Bitcoin, in 2009. Bitcoin is still the most recognized and utilized cryptocurrency. Bitcoins are created as a reward for a process known as mining. They can be exchanged for other currencies, products, and services. Research produced by the University of Cambridge estimates that in 2017, there are 2.9 to 5.8 million unique users using a cryptocurrency wallet, most of them using bitcoin.
What is mining?
Bitcoin mining is the process by which transactions are verified and added to the public ledger, known as the block chain, and also the means through which new bitcoins are released. It involves compiling recent transactions into blocks and trying to solve a computationally difficult puzzle.
What is ledger ?
Ledger Wallet is a smartcard based Bitcoin hardware wallet bringing maximum protection level to your bitcoins without sacrificing usability or control.
What is the value of cryptocurrency?
One of the values of cryptocurrency is that it is not regulated by the Federal Reserve System or any other government agency, either in the U.S. or abroad. The decentralized nature of cryptocurrency means that it will not collapse nor devalue in the event of a governmental collapse.