Crypto is both a peer-to-peer payment system and a cryptographic currency. Therefore, these virtual currencies are virtual currencies in the sense that an absence of physical support characterizes them: neither coins nor banknotes and payments by check or bank card are not possible either.
These are alternative currencies and are not legal tender in almost any country in the world. Their value is not pegged to the price of gold or to that of conventional currencies, nor are they regulated by a central financial body or financial institutions. There are no central banks at their head. And yet, security and transparency are their main assets! Indeed, cryptography secures transactions that are all verified and recorded in a public domain, ensuring both confidentiality and authenticity thanks to Blockchain technology.
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Their creation process is called “mining”. Here are their characteristics:
Bitcoin. Created in 2009 by one person or a group of people, under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin is the most well-known cryptocurrency today. By 2021, many predicted that Bitcoin will rise in value. Indeed, each year, production is reduced by half. In all, the creation of 21 million Bitcoins had been planned as early as 2009. However, this decrease in production led, at least between 2012 and 2016, to a drastic increase in its value, also called halving.
Ethereum (ETH) is the second best-known cryptocurrency after Bitcoin. Created on July 30, 2015, Ethereum is a decentralized exchange protocol. Thanks to this system, users will be able to set up pre-established contracts, known as “smart contracts”. In particular, thanks to Ethereum a user can establish a future contract stipulating that he will buy something only when certain conditions are met, without going through a notary, therefore, without paying additional costs. From 2020 to 2021, Ethereum grew from $ 150 to over $ 150 billion.
In order to stay updated regarding the production of the new tokens, take a sneak peek at the ICO calendar which gives all info about the projects.
Several cryptocurrencies have emerged in recent years and are quite popular, including the following:
- Cosmos (ATOM): still at the experimental stage, the Cosmos works with blockchain network technology.
- Tezos (XTZ): A competitor to Ethereum, this is a smart contracts platform operating by proof of stake. Since its launch, as Binance or Kraken testify, the price of Tezos has been rising.
- Kleros (PNK): decentralized dispute resolution project, it allows individuals to take on a jury role in a decentralized tribunal and to take advantage of parties.
- Stellar Lumens (XLM): decentralized and open-access platform, its value has increased since its launch in 2014. It has risen in early 2021 to around $ 0.40.
- MakerDAO (MKR, DAI): This cryptocurrency is three years old. In 2021, it could become the reference currency within the Ethereum network.
- Ripple (XRP), which designates a payment protocol with a market capitalization of over 19 billion euros,
- Tether: the market capitalization of this cryptocurrency amounts to more than 35 billion euros,
- Litecoin is a cryptocurrency with a market capitalization of over 11 billion euros,
- Nano: the 2018 hack seriously shook its value,
- Basic Attention Token (BAT) which exceeded 10 million active users at the end of 2019.