What is a cryptocurrency? It is the term used to describe a digital asset that works as a medium of exchange. In plain English, that means that it is effectively a form of digital currency.
How does a cryptocurrency differ from ‘real’ money? The reason that the word real has been put into inverted commas is that most of the money in the world isn’t actually real in the true sense of the word.
Only 8% of worldwide currency exists in a physical capacity with the remaining 92% simply being a number on a screen. Cryptocurrency is exclusively available in a non-physical form, and unlike traditional currencies, it is not centralized by a national or local government.
Cryptocurrency is also not regulated by the central banking system, instead, it works through something called distributed ledger technology – usually a blockchain – which forms a financial transaction database.
When was cryptocurrency launched? Bitcoin is widely acknowledged as the first decentralized cryptocurrency in the world and was launched in 2009. In the years since Bitcoin has undergone a meteoric rise to the top, with the price of a single Bitcoin peaking at $19,783 in 2017.
Despite there being over 4,000 alternative cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin still remains the most popular and well-known across the globe.
What is the purpose of a cryptocurrency? Originally cryptocurrencies were developed to provide a safer, more stable alternative to traditional currencies and to reduce barriers to international trade.
Following the huge rise in the price of Bitcoin, it momentarily became something of an investment market rather than a currency. Bitcoin’s were being traded as if they were shares in the stock exchange and continue to be treated as such by some investors.
However, for those with ‘low-level’ amounts of Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, they are now fulfilling their purpose as a safe means of payment, particularly online.
Pizza For Coins is the cryptocurrency version of JustEat or UberEats in that it allows you to order food from local takeaways whilst paying in cryptocurrency. Pizza For Coins accepts the crypto payment and makes sure that the takeaway is paid in traditional cash, negating the need for individual restaurants to invest in blockchain technology.
You can purchase food from Pizza For Coins with a number of different cryptocurrencies, but it’s probably best to avoid paying in Bitcoin… Not because Pizza For Coins doesn’t accept Bitcoin, but because you don’t want to tempt fate and end up like Laszlo Hanyecz.
In May 2010 Laszlo was feeling a bit peckish and decided to order two pizzas from Papa John’s. Instead of paying with cash he chose to pay with Bitcoin, 10,000 of them to be exact. Had Laszlo decided to hold onto his Bitcoin and pay in dollars instead, he could have sold his Bitcoin for $197,830,000 in December 2017.
You might think that making such a big mistake and missing out on a massive investment was terrible for Laszlo, but speaking earlier this year he said he had ‘no regrets’. Papa John’s must do some pretty delicious pizzas…
In the current climate of political unrest and social media angst, it’s easy to forget that there are some pretty amazing people out there doing incredible things. The Water Project is one such organization, whose mission is to provide clean and safe drinking water to some of Africa’s most impoverished communities.
In a bid to attract more donations The Water Project took the move to accept donations in the form of cryptocurrencies. Not only has that allowed for the charity to receive more funding, but the added publicity has helped to increase awareness of their cause.
Save The Children and Red Cross are just two other charitable organizations that you can donate to with cryptocurrency. If seeking the truth and supporting Julian Assange is your thing, you can donate to Wikileaks in the same way too!
Video gaming is one of the most popular industries in the world, with well over a billion players using their phones or consoles to play every year. Technology and gaming are led by Microsoft, one of the few $1 trillion companies in existence on the planet.
So with that in mind it’s only natural that Microsoft’s console Xbox is enabled for cryptocurrency spending. Xbox users can purchase movies, games, apps, and music in their online accounts with Bitcoin, with transactions usually happening instantaneously.
At the time of writing, gift cards are the only items that cannot be purchased with Bitcoin on the Microsoft store.
Gambling on Bitcoin
As an industry gambling, and in particular online gambling has always been quick to adapt to new technological advances and public trends. Plenty of big online gambling companies (and some small ones too) have recently updated their financial systems to accept cryptocurrency as a means of payment.
Online-casinos.com is the ideal tool to find the best Bitcoin casino sites on the internet. It’s not just Bitcoin that many casinos are accepting now, most will allow you to pay with hundreds of different cryptocurrencies, giving you as the customer much more flexibility.
Should you spend your cryptocurrency?
Cryptocurrencies were initially developed to rival traditional currencies with the ultimate goal of replacing them in the future. However, there was a time when they were nothing more than stocks that could be traded in.
That period seems to be coming to an end with many cryptocurrencies now being used to buy and sell goods. However, if you are in possesion of Bitcoin it may be wise to hold onto them for a while and use alternative cryptocurrencies to make purchases with.