Characteristics of cryptocurrencies
Cryptocurrencies have a value based on offer and demand. For most currencies their goal is transaction, but there are some that are doing very complex jobs, that in a way can reflect actions of a company.
They are divided so that sum can be added or retracted.
They only exist on internet.
So transactions are relatively fast.
Usually they aren’t under control by a bank or a country.
For writing down transactions is used encryption. So getting into it and hacking it is almost impossible. All transactions are written in a block.
Transactions are anonymous. But because transactions are anonymous that means that receipts don’t have to be. There are currencies where you can easily check transactions, which means if you know who’s account it is you can easily check how much was sent and received.
Your currencies are kept in a digital wallet, which can be accessed anywhere as long as you have internet connection. These wallets are accessed by “keys”, when you make a new wallet you get a special “key”. If you lose this “key” you lose access to the wallet which means all the currency on it as well.
Transactions are not refundable. Which means if you make a mistake while sending someone cryptocurrency you won’t be able get it back.
What cryptocurrencies exist?
First and most known cryptocurrency is bitcoin, everything else is called altcoin.
A short for bitcoin is BTC, and is divided into satoshi. 1 BTC = 100.000.000 satoshi. All transactions can be checked. Governments and banks have no control over it. So not depending on where in the world it’s being send the transaction speed is always the same (usually a few minutes). Depending on the platform there might be 6 or more confirmations required to send the money. Bitcoin is given away to miners who write down the transactions and put them in a block. But the amount of it being given away is going down with time. So the maximum amount of bitcoin that can be mined is 21.000.000 BTC.
Short for Ethereum is ETH. This is a programmable cryptocurrency. Which means it can execute some programs individually.
Short for Monero is XMR. Monero is one of the most private cryptocurrencies, thus protecting your anonymity.
Other cryptocurrency characteristics
Many more cryptocurrencies exist, but they are reached either by mining or buying. One of the stock markets where you can trade, buy or sell cryptocurrency is STEX (referral link).
Read about buying bitcoin.