There are currently around 700 different types of cryptocurrency, though you may have only heard of bitcoin. If these payment methods seem too confusing to worry about, you’re not alone. However, people are gradually turning to cryptocurrency as a preferred payment method, so it’s important to be aware of these relative newcomers to the payment industry.
Bitcoin was established in 2009, though it is unclear who developed it. There are currently an estimated 15 million bitcoins worth about $3-4 billion in circulation. While records are kept of bitcoin transactions, they are not kept in a central location, nor is anyone (including the digital currency’s developers) in charge of the records or the currency.
There are two major concerns regarding bitcoin currency. First is the anonymity and how it might encourage criminal activity. Second is the volatility of the currency. Since it was established, bitcoin has varied from about 30 cents to more than $1,400, though it shows signs of stabilizing at about $600. Despite these concerns, several banks are watching the currency to determine whether it might simplify international transactions.
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