The brilliant phenomenon of storing value digitally as cryptocurrency, that too securely and without the dependence on any third party has caught the fancy of both the general public and the finance sector to a great extent. This impressive shift in the economic scenario is the outcome of decades of brain storming, amazing research particularly in the field of mathematics and technology and communication and also courageous attempts intended to disrupt the existing, centralised economic order.
Until the time of the arrival of cryptocurrency, virtual currency was effectively used for representing the fiat currency for purchases, transfers to other people or just to be stored as credits.
It was as early as the 1980s when people began experimenting with the idea of digital cash. In Netherlands, an American cryptographer named David Chaum invented the first form of internet based money DigiCash by using the advanced form of popular encryption algorithm RSA. The amazing technology garnered tremendous media attention and adulation from the industry. However after facing a couple of crisis it ceased to sustain itself and it nosedived into bankruptcy in 1998.
The second wave of web based money PayPal was an absolute success because it understood the user’s need and offered a novel and indefectible peer-to-peer transfer mechanism and a seamless mean of accepting payments for the merchants.
A successful parallel attempt to PayPal was e-Gold, which accepted physical gold deposits from users and issued gold credits to their accounts. But the programme had to face closure in the wake of Ponzi schemes and other scams.
In 2008 U S witnessed a very deep economic crisis which revealed the callous behaviour of the evangelists of global finance to the world. During this time, a mysterious organisation or individual named Satoshi Nakamoto, with the intention of disrupting the deplorable status quo that pervaded the banking and finance sector, published a white paper in 2009 elucidating the concept, technology and source code for world’s first effective and advanced decentralised digital monetary system the Bitcoin. It was backed by the state of the art cryptography and hence came to be known as cryptocurrency.
The idea of cryptocurrency came into existence in 2008, after the Occupy Wall Street movement lambasted large banks for misusing depositor’s money and cheating clients. Bitcoin intended to eliminate interest, taxes, middleman, and facilitate effective financial transactions. The founders envisioned a decentralized system where an individual can control their funds and money.
In the current scenario, it is gaining burgeoning support and acceptance from developers, users and business communities alike as a result of which numerous countries like Japan, Canada and Australia have already regulated or are considering regulating the use of Bitcoin under their law and taxation frameworks.
The runaway success of Bitcoin and blockchain spawned the existence of numerous other cryptocurrencies or tokens. Over 1500 cryptocurrencies (and tokens) are currently being traded across the globe. Litecoin, monero, Dash, Ripple, Stratis and ZCash are some examples of the popular coins.
As an obvious consequence to all the hype a totally new industry of cryptocurrency trading has emerged globally. Moreover many blockchain-based apps are intrinsically making use of a cryptocurrency. Numerous crypto exchange are providing easy access to cryptocurrencies, which the common people might utilize to explore such blockchain based apps and other use cases.
The following infographic on 33 Cryptocurrencies described in four words or less is developed by our friends at Mrbtc.org, check the infographic and share your thoughts on it.