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Get to know the cryptocurrency boom – it’s not just for geeks

Bitcoin isn’t the only cryptocurrency on the block, with various alternatives hitting the market, making it increasingly relevant for all businesses.

cryptocurrency and net neutrality

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Bitcoin competitors on the rise

Altcoins, or alternative digital currencies, are fast on the heels of Bitcoin as the world of crypto-currencies becomes home to an increasing number of new entrants. Founders of PeerCoin, Litecoin, anoncoin and Cryptsy have recently launched several alternative currencies and investors are vying for the opportunity to back these ventures.

Although Bitcoin is considered to have the highest value of the bunch estimated to be in the billions, Litecoin reached a value of $250 million last week and other cryptocurrencies are climbing in value as well.

These currencies are still young

Although these currencies are fairly new to the market, investors can place some confidence in the growth potential that is already being exhibited – in fact, the value of Bitcoin has risen by 6,000 percent since the beginning of 2013. Part of the appeal that draws investors and programmers to these currencies is the anonymity that is provided.

Transactions are private and do not go through a centralized financial organization like most purchases and transfers do, however some altcoin fans dislike like that the government can now more easily follow Bitcoin transactions on a public ledger. For this reason, alternatives to Bitcoin, like anoncoin, have started to pop up in order to “help people become anonymous in this over-surveillanced world,” according to its founder.

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The government is paying attention

Most digital currencies are obtained through a computer mining process during which computers and programmers solve math problems or search for strings of prime numbers. The first computers to do so win the coins and begin to amass them in this manner.

The government is starting to keep a closer eye on the cryptocurrency industry as there is potential for illegal activity to occur, but virtual currencies like Ripple are finding more widespread success in the marketplace while still being transparent enough that it can be easily regulated and still be attractive to investors. With a slew of programmers continuously coming up with new options, the cryptocurrency space is sure to see a lot of growth.

Destiny Bennett is a journalist who has earned double communications' degrees in Journalism and Public Relations, as well as a certification in Business from The University of Texas at Austin. She has written stories for AustinWoman Magazine as well as various University of Texas publications and enjoys the art of telling a story. Her interests include finance, technology, social media...and watching HGTV religiously.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Terry

    March 1, 2015 at 3:17 am

    Have you heard of OneCoin?

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