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“A cryptocurrency (or crypto currency) is a digital asset designed to work as a medium of exchange wherein individual coin ownership records are stored in a ledger existing in a form of computerized database using strong cryptography to secure transaction records, to control the creation of additional coins, and to verify the transfer of coin ownership”.

We bet you were there (on Wikipedia) already for this one, and, of course, you understood about the 5% of everything written in there. But worry not! We can explain better what-the-heck is a cryptocurrency and why you should care about it. Maybe you don’t know it yet, but it’s very handy, we promise.

So, as the name suggests, cryptocurrencies are… well… currencies. Zoals de dollar of de euro, maar met enkele substantiële verschillen achter de schermen. You know: where they come from, how they work, how they acquire their value. They’re not physical, either, just digital. But yeah: you can use them to buy and sell things. Like any other payment method, through a mobile or desktop app or web page (zoals de onze!)

If they are just “currencies”, why the “crypto”, then? That comes from the cryptography. This is data encryption with math, basically: you take a message, you use math to “disguise” it in symbols, and you make sure only the recipient of that message is able to receive it through a super-secret key to decipher those symbols. That’s cryptography and the “cryptocurrencies” are built entirely with it.

But wait! They’re not difficult to use at all. We’re just talking about the backstage, how they work. You don’t need to know how it was built your laptop or your favorite app to use them, and it’s the same for cryptocurrencies. They’re digital currencies built with math instead of paper or metal, but their purpose and use aren’t that complicated.

Now you can make an interesting question here: I already have my currency, my national money, so, why should I care? What’s the point of building a new form of currency, when the “normal” currency already exists and works fine, even in the digital version?

Great question. Let’s check out some reasons.

Toepassingen

You can use your traditional money to buy all sorts of things… almost. Isn’t always easy, if you think about it. Most of the time you won’t notice it, but you have limits and risks. Your bank account has daily or monthly limits and high fees for general use, purchases, and withdrawals. Your cash, once in your hand, could be easily lost, stolen, or contaminated (speaking of the pandemic). And your cash, inside the bank, still has the risk of disappearing because of a hacker or the entity’s bankruptcy.

Now think beyond your place: maybe you want to buy that cool mobile phone online, or you want to send money to someone you care about in another country. However, you can’t do that with no trouble with your national currency. High fees and a lot of personal documents and conditions are awaiting you in services like PayPal or SWIFT transactions.

En wat als u via internet een lage fooi wilt geven? Kunt u nu online 0,5 USD naar iemand sturen? Waarschijnlijk is uw antwoord een groot nee, want elke financiële dienst die u in de digitale wereld gebruikt, heeft hogere vergoedingen dan dat.

Nou, wat denk je? U kunt al deze obstakels vermijden door cryptocurrency te gebruiken. Your digital wallet will be only yours, hence, no daily limits, no high fees, no country restrictions. You don’t even need any kind of document to have a cryptocurrency wallet, it’s open for everyone with the Internet!

And, of course, there’s an awesome lot of shops, companies, and services accepting cryptocurrency as a payment. According to CoinMap, just for Bitcoin, there are at the least 19.605 venues accepting this currency in the world.

Voor de rest kun je altijd online naar een leuke beurs gaan om binnen een paar minuten wat van je favoriete fiat-valuta met je cryptocurrency te kopen. Of ondersteboven: u kunt cryptocurrency kopen met uw traditionele geld.

Oplichting

Do you have an old acquaintance telling you they’re investing in cryptocurrency with 15-200% monthly in fixed earnings, by chance? And, woah, 15-200% monthly sounds so nice, right? Well, you’ll probably believe him if you know very little thing about cryptocurrencies… but you definitely won’t if you know how this works, even at a basic level.

Dit is een ongelukkige reden om om cryptocurrencies te geven, maar het is wat het is. Scams met de naam crypto's zijn heel, heel gebruikelijk. Piramidale schema's die beweren een nieuwe en geweldige cryptocurrency te hebben ontwikkeld die je in een mum van tijd rijk zal maken, horen bij de cursus.

Even so, please don’t be disappointed. Cryptocurrencies aren’t scams by themselves, they’re just a tool, like the traditional money. Scammers all around the world are leveraging on the popularity and novelty of these instruments to their selfish purposes… like they always do with everything.

The best for you —and your finance— is to learn about cryptocurrencies. Make sure that no one would be able to take advantage of your ignorance. And no: they can’t make you rich in no time. Sorry.

Economie

Do you know where your money comes from and why it has value? They’re just pieces of paper, after all. Well, if you’ve seen Netflix’s Money Heist you probably know already the money is printed by governments.

Die kleine stukjes papier hebben waarde omdat de regering zegt dat ze waarde hebben en dat de mensen rechtvaardig zijn vertrouwen in that word. Therefore, they use the currency to buy and sell and create supply and demand. These two can change the price according to the needs and interests of a particular community…

What? It sounds like in Peter Pan, with faith, trust, and pixie dust? It’s kind of like that, really. People trust governments because, in a way, they’re trying to represent the resources and interests of a whole nation. That’s why they trust them and, therefore, that’s why the fiat money has value. Trust is the key… and it doesn’t sound a little bit alarming that? We have laws, of course, but still.

One great innovation about cryptocurrencies is that we don’t need any trust to use them. De meeste cryptocurrencies zijn gedecentraliseerd. This means no one controls them, no one sets their value and no one can apply censorship or limits to them. These kinds of actives aren’t issued by governments, but by users from all parts of the world. The more, the best!

This process it’s called “mining”, in most cases. The internal systems of these currencies let anyone with the necessary equipment issue brand new coins and verify transactions for everyone at the same time, in exchange for energy and or/time. The “miners” receive a reward in that coin for their services.

Afterward, the coin acquires value based mainly on supply and demand. And we’re all happy, without restrictions.

Get rich with crypto…!

Hope you didn’t fall for that one. Mostly, you can’t get rich just by owning some cryptocurrencies and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Yes, there are out there “bitcoin millionaires”, but they bought in the early stages of the system.

Nevertheless, there’s still a… thing about cryptocurrencies and the idea of (just possibly) multiply your funds with them. That thing it’s called “trading” and isn’t something new. Have you ever seen The Wolf of Wall Street? It’s roughly like that.

U kunt strategisch financiële instrumenten (aandelen, obligaties, effecten, grondstoffen en natuurlijk cryptocurrencies) kopen en verkopen om wat inkomsten te behalen. Dat wil zeggen dat je bijvoorbeeld goedkoop koopt en later duur verkoopt (als de prijs stijgt) om je inversie en een mooi verschil te behouden.

De cryptocurrencies zijn vroeger volatiel: hun prijzen variëren erg, dus ze kunnen aantrekkelijk zijn om te handelen. But before you run to make a loan to become a cryptocurrency trader, let us tell you ISN’T that easy. Professional traders have a great deal of experience in financial markets and they know how to analyze complicated charts to take good (and risky) decisions. They usually have formal and long education about the economy and even about cryptocurrencies.

You can become a cryptocurrency trader, isn’t forbidden. But it won’t be a piece of cake! Now, you know what it’s actually a piece of cake? To use cryptocurrency. We can start from there.

Auteur

Literatuurprofessional in de cryptowereld sinds 2016. Schrijver, onderzoeker en bitcoiner. Werken aan een betere wereld, met meer decentralisatie en koffie.

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