For the new person coming into cryptocurrency it can be pretty confusing with all these different coins available on different blockchains, what makes it even more confusing is coins held within blockchains for other coins.
So lets get started, the main coins.
Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple are pretty much the top 3 but there are derivatives of these, if you’re not sure, stick to Bitcoin to start with till you find your feet in the myriad of different coins available. The coins are stored in blockchains, these are like ledgers of transactions and accounts.
So how do we get all the different coins
The Bitcoin Blockchain code and Ethereum and most of the others is open-source, that means anyone can take it and develop their own crypto. So you can say, hey I like Bitcoin but I think I could improve and change it by … so take the code and start fresh. Ethereum has some great tutorials on how to develop your own ETH blockchain.
Inside the Ethereum Blockchain you can store contracts, these contracts could be anything, a birth certificate, a marriage license, but in fact these are not just flat bits of data, but can have smart contacts, code if you will that will allow you to do things with the tokens in the account.
Because they can! Because people can be creative with the blockchain and create any ledger based application. Sweet! A lot of coins will actually fail, not being taken up by anyone, but there are whole exchanges full of coins. Coins fund investment, can be used for transaction or even as a representative of a contract (rather like Fiat currency, those bank notes are NOT real money, just tokens of something).
Should you HODL coins or use them?
I’m a believer in USING Bitcoin to transact, sometimes I work for Bitcoin, sometimes I use services to buy and sell with Bitcoin, because as the Bank of England once said “Bitcoin has failed as a currency”, for that to be true if everyone just HODL’s it (holds) then it will not move and we need the currency to move between people for whatever reason, sale of goods or services, investments, anything that creates liquidity. In the future as Bitcoin and other cryptos become more well known we will see it being used in everyday life to the point that those in authority can no longer ignore it and call it the domain of the technical.
Dipping your toe in
Getting Crypto is pretty easy, just use my Getting Started guide for more information.