Crypto currency, volatile, catastrophic


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William Engstrom, Writer

On December 17th, 2017 Bitcoin topped off at being worth $19,723.21. At Bitcoin’s inception, just a few years ago, Bitcoin sold for less than a cent. It’s no wonder how popular and important an understanding cryptocurrency is in todays world.

At first glance, most people, whether investors or not, simply see cryptocurrency as an unstable number that only computer nerds can decode. This seems to be true. The currency is unlike anything ever created before. In simple terms, the currency is controlled by a ledger, just like a bank. While a banks job is to control this ledger, cryptocurrency uses an algorithm. Commonly known as blockchain, this algorithm allows constant tracking of all exchanges and accounts containing the currency.

Creating the currency means cracking the code. With each transaction comes multiple high-security restrictions in order to verify the exchange. It is in this process, also known as ‘mining’, that one gains more currency which comes as payment for solving the algorithm.

The program Blockchain has no home. Instead of one centralized supercomputer running the algorithm, cryptocurrencies rely on crowd sourcing. Anyone anywhere can use their computer to mine.

Safe, yet unstable, cryptocurrency has changed the way many look at investing. Bitcoin, arguably the most popular and important currency, has seen staggering variations in worth over the last five years. Its unstable nature is the sole reason why it’s not taking over its paper competition, but millions are still investing in it and here’s why. It’s private and it has a future. There’s no argument that bitcoin may be a part of everyone’s bank accounts in the near future. Security is what drives the currency and security is what people want in today’s age.

Investing in Bitcoin is hard. Unlike a typical stock, Bitcoins worth is constantly changing without reason. The simple theory of supply and demand explains that the more people that buy Bitcoin, the higher the worth will be.

There are two ways to profit from cryptocurrency; mine it or buy it. So, which one is the better choice? Mining can take extensive amounts of time and energy, on top of the technology needed to do so which can run upwards of $1,000. The benefit to mining is that it takes no effort from you. Often times many miners turn on their computer and go about their day. With that, it is also much less profitable in comparison to investing. A new way of trading has made way from the ever-changing price of cryptocurrencies called crypto trading. Within seconds, the price of a Bitcoin can change, and if done right a trader takes advantage of this.

As of recent, many large companies, banks included, have shown interest in cryptocurrency. Given its young nature and lack of regulation, interest has boomed on decisions about acceptance, volatility and investment in the currency. Considering the major leap in innovation, companies have slowly started recognizing the currency, a good signal for the future and for people looking to invest.

JP Morgan recently rolled out its very own cryptocurrency, the JPM Coin. When tested, it will be the first real-world application of a crypto in banking; remediating worry of regulation and security that comes with other cryptocurrencies. Thus, JP Morgan will soon have the potential to directly trade and compete with other coins. They also bank 80% of companies on the Fortune 500 list and with their acceptance of cryptocurrency projects many of its clients will soon be doing the same.

Does this mean that cryptocurrencies will one day be a part of mutual funds, 401(K)’s, or even loans? The possibilities for the coin are endless and a huge reason as to why its created so much news. Whether you mine it or buy it, the risk will always be there, but the future for cryptocurrency looks undeniably bright.