What is cryptoJohannes Röll 28 / April / 21 Visitors: 429
Digital money? Yes; but crypto currency cannot be equated to money in ebmoney, Paypal or cards. Currency? Yes; but crypto currency is not regulated by the central banks of the countries and its rate is not directly tied to the economy of any country. Crypto currency is a special kind of financial and payment asset, designed to revolutionize the financial sphere. And some people are still convinced that crypto currency is nothing more than another bubble.
What is crypto currency?
Crypto currency is a digital currency secured by cryptographic technology. There is no physical counterpart to these monetary units; they can only be in virtual territory.
Externally, crypto currency looks like an ordinary electronic payment system but it is fundamentally different inside. The main difference is the P2P architecture and the absence of an emission center. Each crypto wallet is already a bank by itself. A lot of computers with crypto wallets all over the world form a huge distributed bank that is fully automated and works around the clock. The functioning of crypto currency is guaranteed only by the correctness of its algorithm embedded in the program with open source code. Most crypto currencies have an emission limit (release of new coins) - it is 21 million coins for Bitcoin. However, in such currencies as PPC and NVC have no emission boundaries.
Why we need crypto currency
Crypto currency can be useful for various purposes ranging from purchases and ending with money savings. Let's list the main options for using crypto currency:
· Payments. And not just any transactions but anonymous, quick and direct transactions. They are carried out both between individuals and for the purchase of goods or online services.
· Storage of money. It is practically impossible to steal crypto currency from another wallet. Since all operations are irreversible and use private keys, they cannot be intercepted or hacked. Provided that you have not given your private key to other people, your crypto currency wallet will consistently be safe.
· Investments. Bitcoin and other crypto are considered as an investment asset because of exchange rate fluctuations and overall growth in popularity. Moreover, crypto currency is applicable both for short-term earnings by trading on the exchange and for long-term as the exchange rate shows a tendency to increase.
· Business. More and more companies and services accept payments in crypto currency. Traditionally, there were purely crypto currency start-ups collecting funds through ICO (crowdfunding). If you personally have a business idea associated with the blockchain or virtual currency, then you can launch fundraising through the ICO.
Crypto vs. Fiat
At the mention of the word currency creates an image of banknotes and banks. We are used to the traditional arrangement in financial systems. Fiat is a standard, adjustable currency. The main differences between crypto currency and fiat currencies are as follows:
· Crypto currency has no physical embodiment. Yes, fiat money also exists in electronic form but there are no banknotes or coins in case of crypto currency. Do not confuse physical coins, wallets and QR codes that are used to work with crypto.
· Crypto currency is not issued by the central bank and is not tied to the economy of any country. The process of issuing crypto currency is not controlled by anyone. No one can limit these processes - only the features of the system itself. The rate is formed by the market and is not directly related to the economy of any country.
· It is anonymous. You need to specify at least some of your personal data to work with the bank, payment systems like QIWI, WebMoney or Paypal. This is not necessary in crypto currency. Each participant is anonymous; meaning, all information about participants is a set of digits in the wallet address.
· Direct transactions. There are no processing centers, intermediaries, issuers and third parties in this virtual currency system. There is a simple direct of funds between the network participants.
How the perception of crypto currency has changed in 2017
At the end of 2016 the crypto market looked just like a market for a new asset was supposed to look for most people - not actually recognized by anyone, it was not clear about the crypto meaning and no one knew what it is worth. To put it simply - unreliable.
The vast majority of major investors treated crypto currency with some skepticism going all the way to irony; they were claiming that it was another toy for programmers which perhaps could have a shot for a certain number of years but it was still more of a potentially far-fetched story.
In 2017, the crypto market reached the rates which made ignoring crypto currency look strange, especially on the part of specialists. The pillars of the financial world finally "noticed" assets, which grew by 10,000% per year, do not have the signs of financial pyramids and represent something completely new. During the year, they expressed different opinions but the further the technology developed, the more positive they were.
As soon as the awareness about the crypto technology has increased, people began to understand what its value. The rundown in the crypto media explained to people that the necessity to understand and appreciate crypto currency and that the crypto currency value is measured not by the physical equivalent but by the convenience for the consumer.
Crypto-currency market in 2018: forecast and expectations
Politics and Society
In 2018, the legalization of crypto currency is expected in a number of countries and, probably, bans are expected in some others. Decisions will be made by the governments depend on how the crypto currencies behave in the market, how much they will meet the expectations of investors, how much they will develop technically. The draft laws on giving legal status to crypto currencies are already being prepared in France, Russia and many other countries.
In many ways they will determine the further development of the region. Obviously, recognizing crypto currency will provoke the appearance of outlets: expansion of paying salaries in crypto currencies, especially in the field of programming and in areas close to the blockchain industry.
Also, state policy will determine the policy of banks. Most likely, in 2018, some banks in countries where crypto currencies are legalized will begin to consider the possibility of introducing crypto coins into their systems, although this is unlikely to be implemented unless by the end of the year there will be a positive trend of crypto development.
Crypto currencies, most likely, are about to be mutually integrated. Today, there are many promising technologies but each is implemented in its own currency. If we combine them, we can achieve truly progressive blockchain solutions that will determine the future of the digital economy. Probably, the field of blockchain development will expand, new programming tools will appear and more convenient platforms are not ruled out either. The language of smart contracts has significant prospects, which can definitely become among the top ten among the existing programming languages in 2018.
Also, blockchains that can be adjusted to the needs of any person are among the expected technical innovations. Individuals and companies can form private blockchains and public developers, for example, who need to increase the level of trust in their product, will use the public option.
It is quite possible to expect that the level of protection of crypto currencies as well as related resources - exchanges, purses, etc., should increase. And American entrepreneur and hedge fund manager James Altucher believes that crypto currency will reach the point of technical development that their advantage over the money will become obvious in 2018.
ICO and tokens
The technical director of Ripple Stefan Thomas thinks that the golden time of ICO is coming to an end and that they will go down for three reasons:
· If ICO used to attract attention with its novelty and the fact of its existence, it has become commonplace now. And this means that startups will have to invest more resources and many will decide that it is not worth the investment.
· Attention from regulators will increase and if serious developers do not stop before that freeloaders' gain will back down. This is good for investors but ICO will become smaller.
· The crypto market is overloaded with currencies that nobody needs. It does not make sense to multiply them even further so people will produce only tokens that differ technologically. They can be developed by a limited number of people; therefore, the number will decrease.
However, there are opinions that tokens can become an excellent alternative to bonus systems. And this means that almost every trading network and any enterprise will have its own currency. Moreover, some entrepreneurs can launch trading networks through the ICO.
If the year 2017 was a year of small and medium-sized investors, then 2018 will become a year of institutional investors and big players. Most likely, there will be ETF (Exchange Traded Funds) in 2018 - regulated crypto currency funds as already there are already conversations about them.
The billions of dollars will go into the crypto market and this is another reason why it is difficult to predict something; it is unclear how crypto currencies will react to such investment flows. Until it becomes clear how the big players behave, it is difficult to foresee anything but we are expecting a lot of interesting improvements in the market.
Johannes Röll was born 1978 in Brilon,Germany. Graduated RWTH Aachen University. Over the past ten years he worked as Head of the plastic card team, where he was mainly responsible for the development of the distribution, Head of sales Department and Financial Analyst,where he got experience in planning and support sales figures for branches. For the present he works as freelancer