Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are gaining more mainstream publicity by the week. Ellen DeGeneres talked about Bitcoin in a recent episode of her very popular talk show.
“The digital wallet can either be apps on your phone or tiny hard drives – which is a really good idea because who wouldn’t feel safe with their life savings on a piece of plastic that could go into the washing machine,” she commented.
Bitcoin has also made the news with rapper, 50 Cent forgetting that he was paid a large sum of Bitcoins years ago that were now worth millions.
A large portion of the general public is still very sceptical about cryptocurrencies with many Facebook posts being littered with comments about it being a scam. While we have seen some ICO’s that have been an outright scam, there are thousands of completely legitimate options in the cryptocurrency space.
The popular commission-free trading app, Robinhood, is now getting involved in the cryptocurrency space. At the time of writing this article, they have received 698,002 users register for an early access account.
The current crypto coins that the Robinhood trading platform will support are:
We covered other cryptocurrency apps and platforms here.
Robinhood has been a very successful trading platform, mainly for the younger generation dipping their toes into the world of investing. They reached a value of $1.3 billion in May 2017. With the launch of the Robinhood crypto app, this will surely give the company another positive push.
This is good news for crypto in general as it should help bring more people into the market. The app will feature a simplified interface so trading cryptocurrency will be a breeze.
The app will search multiple cryptocurrency exchanges to find the lowest price for the user. It will also be easier to invest in particular coins which usually involve creating accoutns on multiple exchanges and converting coins into other coins.
Some people argue about the use of Bitcoin but now their prayers have been answered. You can purchase KFC with Bitcoin! The trick is that you have to live in Canada as it’s currently only available at KFC outlets there.
The payment is accepted via a system called BitPay which comes up as an option on the online-checkout page.
3 of the top 5 global money transfer companies plan to use XRP in payment flows in 2018. Even more in the pipeline.
This is promising news for people that have invested in Ripple (XRP) which has seen amazing growth in 2017. XRP achieved a growth of 35,000% in 2017 and it’s still early days with more firms gaining interest using the blockchain to make transactions across the world more efficiently and with fewer fees.
Ripple’s market cap also grew enormously during 2017, currently switching between 2nd and 3rd highest with Ethereum.
2018 will be an interesting year for cryptocurrencies, whether another coin/token can finally take down the king, Bitcoin. Many say that Bitcoin’s time is over and it is inefficient and flawed compared to Ethereum.
Another price surge was expected for Ripple XRP when major cryptocurrency exchange, Coinbase, was rumoured to support it. They have now since announced that there are no plans to offer it at this point in time.
CoinMarketCap shows the current market capitalisations for 1,374 different Cryptocurrency coins and tokens over 7,478 markets. This is a great website to see how all of the coins and tokens are tracking, especially if you are interested in smaller, lesser known altcoins as you can watch them either climb or fall down the ladder to grab a larger chunk of the market.
Bitcoin is the worlds first decentralised digital currency, this meaning that it isn’t connected to a bank or any administrator like fiat is. It started in January 2009 and at first was largely used for making discrete purchases on the Deep Web on websites like Silk Road. Since then, there are many other businesses accepting bitcoin as an alternative form of payment for the purchase of products.
Bitcoin was created by Satoshi Nakamoto, who has never been truly confirmed. This could be an alias name that the creator used to hide his identity, we may never find out.
The price of Bitcoin has gained incredibly over the last few years, causing many people to get involved in investing in various cryptocurrencies. Many financial experts such as Warren Buffet warn people that this looks like one of the biggest bubbles we have ever seen, so people should tread carefully when investing their money into it.
What is Ethereum?
Ethereum is another popular cryptocurrency that was first released in 2015 created by Vitalik Buterin, a cryptocurrency programmer and researcher.
It has enjoyed a huge gain throughout 2017 trading at $14.90AUD on January 4th all the way up to $1,012.50AUD December 31st.
Ethereum uses smart-contracts across nodes on the blockchain to facilitate the trading of money and content.
What is Ripple?
Ripple is another cryptocurrency that has received much attention in 2017 and racing up the market capitilsation ladder sitting in the Top 3 position at the time of this article.
Ripple is an RTGS (real-time gross settlement) remittance and currency exchange network that is gaining popularity among the banks. There are 100 billion XRP (currency of Ripple) in existance which is the limit as no more can be created, much like how more Bitcoin coins can’t be created.