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Most people have heard of Bitcoin, but do you know what cryptocurrency is?
Over the next few days, we’ll explore this phenomenon, define the terms, and take a look at it through investors’ eyes. Real estate has always been a good investment, and continues to be. But now there are additional options.
So, what is it? Basically, cryptocurrency is a digital, or virtual currency designed to provide a means of exchange between two or more parties. It requires cryptography, or specific coding, to secure and verify transactions, or to create new units of a particular cryptocurrency.
To confirm a currency transaction between two parties requires solving this cryptographic puzzle. Traditional currency requires a third party to guarantee the transaction, such as a bank. Using cryptography in transactions makes this third-party guarantee unnecessary.
What can you do with cryptocurrency?
It may surprise you to discover that there are a LOT of merchants, both online and off, that accept cryptocurrency. Bitcoin is the most popular, but recently, Apple authorized 10 different cryptocurrencies to use a payment on their App Store.
Here are some ways you can use this digital currency:
1. You can buy goods. Retailers like Overstock accept it online, but so do local shops, bars and restaurants.
2. You can pay for a college degree.
3. You can invest it.
4. You can pay for services, such as Dish Network, WordPress, and online news subscriptions for companies like Bloomberg and Chicago Sun-Times.
5. You can pay for video games through companies like Xbox and PlayStation.
6. You can use it to travel. Companies like Expedia, Webjet, and CheapAir accept Bitcoin.
7. You can use it to tip people, or to donate money to charities.
8. You can accept it for pay for YOUR business.
Tomorrow, we’ll take a look at Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Later in the week, we’ll talk about using cryptocurrency as an investment.