Cryptocurrencies are a new and innovative method to transact and have given way to a new demographic base of customers eager to use the platform and support businesses that enable them to do so. Great opportunities come with a few risks, but the benefits of using cryptocurrency outweigh its risks. Integrate your company with the crypto-blockchain process and reap the benefits that come your way!
A Hedge Against Inflation
Trends in the market teach us that cash depreciates over time due to inflation, so idle liquid cash is in fact detrimental to the profitability of an organisation. Cryptocurrency provides a capital investment opportunity for individuals and businesses alike to protect their profits against economic forces of inflation and deflation in real time.
Lower Transaction Costs
Transacting in cryptocurrencies is cheaper than banking transactions, making it a better alternative than credit or debit cards.
High Security and Fraud Reduction
Cryptocurrencies are well known for being one the most secure modes of payment as well as possessing low risks with regards to account breaches and frauds. A popular method exploited by fraudsters that calls for chargebacks through reversal of payments at banks is rendered completely useless with the use of cryptocurrencies, which does not allow for payment reversals.
No Barriers To Trade
Even with the advent of payment gateways allowing any legitimate business to process online transactions, the barrier to entry, fees, processes and restrictions in place can cause small businesses to lose out on certain markets or not be able to transact online at all.
Transacting with cryptocurrencies has little-to-no barriers in accepting and processing payments on a website. This means that your customers can transact from virtually anywhere in the world with no hassle.
One of the biggest benefits of cryptocurrency is its instant payment feature. Amounts are transacted freely and are instantly sent and received with no delays in payments. Almost all payment gateways hold the cash on your behalf and will charge a transfer fee whenever you want to collect it. It becomes much easier for newly formed companies that require payments to be immediate in order to facilitate operating costs.
Blockchain methods are increasingly, finding popularity across businesses and governments alike due to the high security it provides.
Blockchains are the underlying systems of cryptocurrency which is why it has gained popularity despite some of its risks. Breaching a blockchain is next to impossible and makes for an extremely secure encrypted network.
Cryptocurrency payments can be done virtually anywhere and on any smart-device, including your smartphone. Those that do not have access to other forms of payment find it easier to transact through cryptocurrencies for this very reason.
How To Buy Cryptocurrency
If you’re new to the world of crypto, figuring out how to buy Bitcoin, Dogecoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies can be confusing at first. Thankfully, it’s pretty simple to learn the ropes. You can start investing in cryptocurrency by following these five easy steps.
- Choose a Broker or Crypto Exchange
To buy cryptocurrency, first you need to pick a broker or a crypto exchange. While either lets you buy crypto, there are a few key differences between them to keep in mind.
What Is a Cryptocurrency Exchange?
A cryptocurrency exchange is a platform where buyers and sellers meet to trade cryptocurrencies. Exchanges often have relatively low fees, but they tend to have more complex interfaces with multiple trade types and advanced performance charts, all of which can make them intimidating for new crypto investors.
Some of the most well-known cryptocurrency exchanges are Coinbase, Gemini and Binance.US. While these companies’ standard trading interfaces may overwhelm beginners, particularly those without a background trading stocks, they also offer user-friendly easy purchase options.
What Is a Cryptocurrency Broker?
Cryptocurrency brokers take the complexity out of purchasing crypto, offering easy-to-use interfaces that interact with exchanges for you. Some charge higher fees than exchanges. Others claim to be “free” while making money by selling information about what you and other traders are buying and selling to large brokerages or funds or not executing your trade at the best possible market price. Robinhood and SoFi are two of the most well-known crypto brokers.
While they’re undeniably convenient, you have to be careful with brokers because you may face restrictions on moving your cryptocurrency holdings off the platform. At Robinhood and SoFi, for instance, you cannot transfer your crypto holdings out of your account. This may not seem like a huge deal, but advanced crypto investors prefer to hold their coins in crypto wallets for extra security. Some even choose hardware crypto wallets that are not connected to the internet for even more security.
- Create and Verify Your Account
Once you decide on a cryptocurrency broker or exchange, you can sign up to open an account. Depending on the platform and the amount you plan to buy, you may have to verify your identity. This is an essential step to prevent fraud and meet federal regulatory requirements.
You may not be able to buy or sell cryptocurrency until you complete the verification process. The platform may ask you to submit a copy of your driver’s license or passport, and you may even be asked to upload a selfie to prove your appearance matches the documents you submit.
- Deposit Cash To Invest
To buy crypto, you’ll need to make sure you have funds in your account. You might deposit money into your crypto account by linking your bank account, authorizing a wire transfer or even making a payment with a debit or credit card. Depending on the exchange or broker and your funding method, you may have to wait a few days before you can use the money you deposit to buy cryptocurrency.
- Place Your Cryptocurrency Order
Once there is money in your account, you’re ready to place your first cryptocurrency order. There are hundreds of cryptocurrencies to choose from, ranging from well-known names like Bitcoin and Ethereum to more obscure cryptos like Theta Fuel or Holo.
When you decide on which cryptocurrency to purchase, you can enter its ticker symbol—Bitcoin, for instance is BTC—and how many coins you’d like to purchase. With most exchanges and brokers, you can purchase fractional shares of cryptocurrency, allowing you to buy a sliver of high-priced tokens like Bitcoin or Ethereum that otherwise take thousands to own.
- Select a Storage Method
Cryptocurrency exchanges are not backed by protections like the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC), and they’re at risk of theft or hacking. You could even lose your investment if you forget or lose the codes to access your account, as millions of dollars of Bitcoin already has been. That’s why it’s so important to have a secure storage place for your cryptocurrencies.
As noted above, if you’re buying cryptocurrency via a broker, you may have little to no choice in how your cryptocurrency is stored. If you purchase cryptocurrency through an exchange, you have more options:
- Leave The Crypto On The Exchange.
When you buy cryptocurrency, it’s typically stored in a so-called crypto wallet attached to the exchange. If you don’t like the provider your exchange partners with or you want to move it to a more secure location, you might transfer it off of the exchange to a separate hot or cold wallet. Depending on the exchange and the size of your transfer, you may have to pay a small fee to do this.
- Hot wallets. These are crypto wallets that are stored online and run on internet-connected devices, such as tablets, computers or phones. Hot wallets are convenient, but there’s a higher risk of theft since they’re still connected to the internet.
- Cold wallets. Cold crypto wallets aren’t connected to the internet, making them your most secure option for holding cryptocurrency. They take the form of external devices, like a USB drive or a hard drive. You have to be careful with cold wallets, though—if you lose the keycode associated with them or the device breaks or fails, you may never be able to get your cryptocurrency back. While the same could happen with certain hot wallets, some are run by custodians who can help you get back into your account if you get locked out.
Best Cryptocurrencies To Invest In
From Bitcoin and Ethereum to Dogecoin and Tether, there are thousands of different cryptocurrencies, which can make it overwhelming when you’re first getting started in the world of crypto. To help you get your bearings, these are the top 10 cryptocurrencies based on their market capitalisation, or the total value of all of the coins currently in circulation.
- Bitcoin (BTC)
- Market cap: Over $846 billion
Created in 2009 by someone under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin (BTC) is the original cryptocurrency. As with most cryptocurrencies, BTC runs on a blockchain, or a ledger logging transaction distributed across a network of thousands of computers. Because additions to the distributed ledgers must be verified by solving a cryptographic puzzle, a process called proof of work, Bitcoin is kept secure and safe from fraudsters.
- Ethereum (ETH)
- Market cap: Over $361 billion
Both a cryptocurrency and a blockchain platform, Ethereum is a favorite of program developers because of its potential applications, like so-called smart contracts that automatically execute when conditions are met and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
Ethereum has also experienced tremendous growth. From April 2016 to the beginning of March 2022, its price went from about $11 to over $3,000, increasing more than 27,000 per cent.
- Tether (USDT)
- Market cap: Over $79 billion
Unlike some other forms of cryptocurrency, Tether is a stablecoin, meaning it’s backed by fiat currencies like U.S. dollars and the Euro and hypothetically keeps a value equal to one of those denominations. In theory, this means Tether’s value is supposed to be more consistent than other cryptocurrencies, and it’s favored by investors who are wary of the extreme volatility of other coins.
- Binance Coin (BNB)
- Market cap: Over $68 billion
The Binance Coin is a form of cryptocurrency that you can use to trade and pay fees on Binance, one of the largest crypto exchanges in the world.
Since its launch in 2017, Binance Coin has expanded past merely facilitating trades on Binance’s exchange platform. Now, it can be used for trading, payment processing or even booking travel arrangements. It can also be traded or exchanged for other forms of cryptocurrency, such as Ethereum or Bitcoin.
BNB’s price in 2017 was just $0.10. By the beginning of March 2022, its price had risen to around $413, a gain of approximately 410,000%.
- XRP (XRP)
- Market cap: Over $37 billion
Created by some of the same founders as Ripple, a digital technology and payment processing company, XRP can be used on that network to facilitate exchanges of different currency types, including fiat currencies and other major cryptocurrencies.
At the beginning of 2017, the price of XRP was $0.006. As of March, 2022, its price reached $0.80, equal to a rise of more than 12,600%.
- Terra (LUNA)
- Market cap: Over $34 billion
Terra is a blockchain payment platform for stablecoins that relies on keeping a balance between two types of cryptocurrencies. Terra-backed stablecoins, such as TerraUSD, are tied to the value of physical currencies. Their counterweight, Luna, powers the Terra platform and is used to mint more Terra stablecoins.
Terra stablecoins and Luna work in concert according to supply and demand: When a stablecoin’s price rises above its tied currency’s value, users are incentivised to burn their Luna to create more of that Terra stablecoin. Likewise, when its value falls compared to its base currency, this encourages users to burn their Terra stablecoins to mint more Luna. As adoption of the Terra platforms grows, so too does the value of Luna.
From January 3, 2021, when its price was $0.64, to the beginning of March 2022, Luna has risen over 14,200 per cent to $92.
- Cardano (ADA)
- Market cap: Over $33 billion
Somewhat later to the crypto scene, Cardano is notable for its early embrace of proof-of-stake validation. This method expedites transaction time and decreases energy usage and environmental impact by removing the competitive, problem-solving aspect of transaction verification present in platforms like Bitcoin. Cardano also works like Ethereum to enable smart contracts and decentralised applications, which are powered by ADA, its native coin.
Cardano’s ADA token has had relatively modest growth compared to other major crypto coins. In 2017, ADA’s price was $0.02. As of March 1, 2022, its price was at $0.99. This is an increase of 4,850%.
- Solana (SOL)
- Market cap: Over $33 billion
Developed to help power decentralised finance (DeFi) uses, decentralised apps (DApps) and smart contracts, Solana runs on a unique hybrid proof-of-stake and proof-of-history mechanisms that help it process transactions quickly and securely. SOL, Solana’s native token, powers the platform.
When it launched in 2020, SOL’s price started at $0.77. By March 1, 2022, its price was around $101, a gain of nearly 13,000 per cent.
- Polkadot (DOT)
- Market Cap: Over $22 billion
Polkadot (DOT), founded in the year 2016, is a unique blockchain interoperability protocol designed to connect different chains together. It also allows exchanging data and processing transactions for parachains, or parallel blockchains without compromising their security. Developers can create their own blockchains while using the Polkadot security.
The core founder of Ethereum, Gavin Wood created Polkadot. The exciting feature of DOT is that it has no hard limit on its total supply. Rather, a new token is constantly in circulation.
Polkadot’s price reached its heights in May 2020 at $6.30 and later in May 2021, the price hit its all-time high of $55.11.
- Litecoin (LTC)
- Market Cap: Over $9 billion
Litecoin (LTC), an open-source blockchain project launched in 2011, was created by former crypto exchange Coinbase software engineer Charlie Lee. It was one of the initial cryptocurrencies whose code is imitated from Bitcoin’s. Despite the fact that it has similarities with Bitcoin, it is developed to have a faster transaction confirmation time. It can be used as an avenue for paying people around the world without a mediator. LTC is frequently considered as “silver to Bitcoin’s gold.”
Litecoin has a total round-off supply of 84 million tokens. In May 2021, it recorded its lifetime high of $413.47 but it dropped by over 50 per cent. There are a growing number of merchants that undertake Litecoin. It has a per token value of around $106, the 21st-largest cryptocurrency in the world.