Cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, are all the rage right now. With traditional commodities losing value and the uncertainty of gold, combined with the fluctuating prices of national currencies, it’s no wonder that people are starting to invest in alternatives.

Cryptocurrencies can be at first complicated to understand, however, and their lack of physicality puts some people off from investing. Here are a few things you (probably) didn’t know about cryptocurrencies.

It is an actual currency

Rather than being solely understood as an investment, it’s important to remember that cryptocurrencies do have a practical use. They can be used as a currency to buy and sell products. Although this predominantly occurs online, more retailers are accepting it as a form of payment. It has been predicted that bitcoin may become the primary form for internationally accepted payment in years to come.

No one knows who invented Bitcoin

The inventor of the most famous cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, remains a mystery. The initial proposal was created by someone under the pseudonym ‘Satoshi Nakamoto’, but the true identity of this person has never been confirmed. Given that this proposal also conceptualised the blockchain process, it has been suggested that it would have been a group of people who came up with the technology, but it remains a mystery as to why this person/ these people have remained unknown.

There is a limit on the number of Bitcoins available

Approximately 17.7 million Bitcoins have been mined and released for public trading (as of July 2019). However, the supply of Bitcoins is not infinite, with an upper limit of 21 million being the maximum supply, with no more available after that. Other cryptocurrencies (such as ethereum) have created their own ceilings in line with this figure.

At the end of the day, cryptocurrency and other blockchain related projects look like they are here to stay, and as Bitcoin’s price continues to rise, alternative cryptocurrencies are also increasing in value too.

As such, it’s not just day traders that are putting their money into blockchain tech but countless ordinary people are doing the same too.

Photo: Bitcoin by cafecredit licensed under Creative Commons 4.0