Tag Archives: cryptocurrency

Features of Litecoin

Litecoin originated from the Bitcoin hard fork that occurred in 2011, with the intent to become a lighter and faster version of Bitcoin. Founded by Charlie Lee, an MIT graduate and Google employee, it hit $1 billion market cap by November 2013.

Since coming on board the crypto world in 2011, Litecoin has consistently been among the top ten largest cryptocurrencies by market cap. Specifically, it has ranked as high as the second position and fallen to as low as the seventh position which is still a high position.

As of June 2022, its market cap was around $3.5 billion, qualifying it as one of the largest cryptocurrencies in existence, even though it still sat some distance away from the greatness of Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, EOS, Ripple, and Stellar.

Litecoin versus Bitcoin

Litecoin was founded with an intention to complement Bitcoin—not compete with it in the manner that cryptos do, presently. The technology behind Litecoin is not too different from that of Bitcoin. The following are some of the few differences between Litecoin and Bitcoin:

  • Limitation on the number of coins: Bitcoin’s supply is finite and fixed at 21 million coins; on the other hand, Litecoin has 84 million coins, which is four times Bitcoin’s total coins.
  • Degree of mining difficulty: One major difference between Litecoin and Bitcoin is the degree of mining difficulty. Mining Bitcoin requires super or very powerful computers and is expensive and difficult. Litecoin, on the other hand, can be mined using average or normal computers. The SHA-256 algorithm is used to mine Bitcoin, while the Scrypt algorithm is used to mine Litecoin.
  • Transaction speed and fees: Transaction confirmation on Bitcoin network takes about 10 minutes, and may sometimes take up to an hour; on the other hand, transaction confirmation on Litecoin is faster, as the speed is about 2½ minutes—this is according to information from BitInfoCharts.com. In addition, Litecoin’s transaction fee is substantially lower than Bitcoin’s.

Litecoin features or characteristics

Litecoin’s main features or characteristics include, but may not be limited to:

  • Litecoin is decentralized
  • Litecoin’s token symbol is LTC
  • Litecoin is a minable
  • Transaction time is about 2½ minutes
  • Creation of Litecoin and algorithm (Scrypt) processing occurs through the PoW (proof-of-work) process
  • Transactions can be done anonymously
  • The energy cost per transaction for Litecoin is lesser than Bitcoin’s.

The Main Features of Ripple Cryptocurrency

The idea behind Ripple (XRP) was initiated way back in 2004 when Ryan Fugger founded a company called “RipplePay”, almost half a decade before Satoshi launched Bitcoin. Now, Ripple is among the most valuable blockchain-based tokens by market capitalization.

According to The Ripple Story, the plan for the protocol behind Ripple cryptocurrency was to create a “peer-to-peer trust network of financial relations that would replace banks”, while working in the same fashion as blockchain technology works.

However, it is important to note that the Ripple crypto platform has its own features or characteristics that make it different from established traditional cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Also important to note is the fact that the Ripple company and Ripple cryptocurrency are two different things, but they are connected to each other: some of the company’s (Ripple’s) payment systems are used with the Ripple crypto or coin which trades as “XRP”.

In 2011, Ripple’s target demographic started paying more attention to Bitcoin which was gradually becoming popular and performing much better than Ripple as a peer-to-peer payment network.

According to Ripple XRP Website, the XRP crypto functions on the basis of the cryptographic signatures inherent in a public chain.

Eventually, Ripple’s XRP cryptocurrency was launched in 2012 to serve as a digital payment network for financial institutions. Fast forward to more than half a decade later: between the end of 2017 and the beginning of January 2018, Ripple crypto temporarily ranked higher than Ethereum for ten days.

In fact, for the most part of 2018, in terms of market cap Ripple was the third largest cryptocurrency at approximately $19 billion.

Ripple versus Bitcoin

These are the main differences between Ripple crypto and Bitcoin crypto:

  • Bitcoin is an open-source platform that is owned by a community: no particular person or entity controls or owns Bitcoin. On the other hand, Ripple is owned by a private company called Ripple Labs which has offices all over the world and brings a consensus into effect if it receives 80% support from users and partners within two weeks. Basically, although Ripple is owned by a company, it employs a democratic process to please at least the majority.
  • Bitcoin’s transaction speed can take up to an hour, and the transaction fees can go as high as $40, depending on demand. On the other hand, Ripple transactions can take as little as four seconds. And even during times of high demand, Ripple’s transaction fees are relatively low or much less, as was the case in 2017 when transaction fees averaged $0.007 which is just a fraction of Bitcoin’s transaction fees.
  • Around ten Bitcoin transactions can be made per second. For Ripple, the number of transactions could go as high as 1,500.
  • Bitcoin and a number of other minable cryptocurrencies have a supply limit—the maximum number of coins that would ever be mined/minted or in circulation. The supply limit of Bitcoin is 21 million finite numbers of coins, while Ripple (XRP) is limited to the 100 billion coins currently in circulation.

The main features or characteristics of Ripple are as follows

  • Ripple is not a fully decentralized platform.
  • Transactions on the platform can be made anonymous.
  • The token symbol for Ripple is XRP.
  • Ripple is not minable or cannot be mined, and thus has no miners on its platform.
  • Algorithm processing and coin creation occur by consensus mechanism—not by proof-of-work (PoW) or proof-of-stake (PoS)—to validate transactions and account balances on the system.
  • Transactions times are small: transactions can occur within as little as four seconds.
  • Ripple uses less energy than bitcoin and transactions costs are very small.

Because Ripple’s unique features are very different from Bitcoin’s features, some people believe that Ripple XRP is not a cryptocurrency. Actually, Ripple is a hybrid of a traditional or fiat currency (a currency that is backed by a government, such as the U.S. dollar) and a traditional cryptocurrency.

The Main Features of Ethereum

Ethereum was first conceived, described, and proposed by Vitalik Buterin in November 2013; it is a young cryptocurrency that’s almost 5 years younger than Bitcoin which was invented in 2008 and launched in 2009 on the backdrop of the then prevailing economic recession.

Additional founders of Ethereum included Charles Hoskinson, Gavin Wood, Joseph Lubin, and Anthony Di Iorio. Ethereum development work and crowdfunding commenced in 2014, and on July 30, 2015, its network went live and has remained so since then.

According to the Ethereum website, www.ethereum.org or https://ethereum.org/en/, “Ethereum is a decentralized platform that runs smart contracts.” Smart contracts are a major feature in Ethereum and enable people to make agreements without the need for a middleman to do so on their behalf.

Ethereum creates its smart contracts by applying the same decentralized blockchain technology principles that Bitcoin utilizes. In the same vein that Bitcoin’s blockchain network validates Bitcoin ownership, so does Ethereum’s blockchain also validate its smart contracts which are executed by encoded rules.

Ethereum versus Bitcoin

In terms of market capitalization, Ethereum or Ether coin comes second only to Bitcoin: as of February 10, 2022, it hit a market cap value of $367.85 billion and exchanged at a rate of $3,077 per 1 Ether or Ethereum coin.

Bitcoin is regarded as “digital gold” because it was the first cryptocurrency to be invented and is the strongest to have reached a market cap of more than $1 trillion, while its limited supply which is capped at 21 million Bitcoins—the maximum number that would likely ever be mined—may guarantee that it continues to remain highly valuable.

Because people are also attracted to the features of Ethereum which is the second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, it is regarded as “digital silver”: like the precious metal known as silver, Ethereum has great features and a wide variety of applications.

Although the principle of cryptography and distributed ledgers powers both the Ethereum and Bitcoin networks, the two respective networks have features that differ technically in a number of ways.

For instance, the feature of executable codes in smart contracts helps to process Ethereum network transactions, while the data appended to Bitcoin network transactions are usually for keeping records or digital notes.

Another difference between Ethereum and Bitcoin networks is the block time: each Ethereum transaction is confirmed in a matter of seconds, while each Bitcoin transaction takes minutes. Bitcoin network runs on the SHA-256, while the Ethereum network runs on the Ethash algorithm.

Ethereum blockchain provides a platform for users to employ smart contracts and perform or run their decentralized applications. This is the reason why many other cryptocurrencies can operate on the Ethereum platform.

Although Bitcoin and Ethereum networks are both currently using the proof of work (PoW) consensus protocol which allows the nodes of members in each network to validate or verify information and prevent anybody from manipulating the system, in 2022 Ethereum network plans to upgrade its features and move to another consensus protocol called proof of stake (PoS) which would make Ethereum more secure, scalable, and sustainable.

Generally, the Bitcoin and Ethereum networks differ in regard to their respective aims: While Bitcoin was invented to serve as an alternative to traditional or national currencies and a medium of exchange, Ethereum was invented to facilitate changeless step-by-step instructions in computer programs or contracts and applications through its own cryptocurrency. 

The main features of Ethereum are as follows

  • Its network is decentralized—but it is more decentralized than Bitcoin
  • It uses and allows the development and deployment of smart contracts in its virtual machine
  • It allows users to create DApps (Decentralized applications) also known as consolidated applications
  • It allows users to create decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) for use in democratic decision-making
  • Its token or trading symbol is “ETH” or “Ether”
  • It is minable
  • Ethereum mining wastes less energy than Bitcoin mining does
  • For now, creation or mining of Ethereum occurs through proof-of-work (PoW)
  • The transaction time can occur within seconds—as little as 14 seconds—although in some cases it can increase depending on confirmation requirements
  • Transactions are not entirely or completely anonymous


The Main Characteristics of Bitcoin

By now, almost everybody in the world may have likely heard about the cryptocurrency that started it all in “cryptodom”: Bitcoin. But presently, Bitcoin is not the only famous or investment-worthy cryptocurrency that exists. There are a number of others too, but they aren’t quite like Bitcoin.

About nine years after Satoshi published Bitcoin’s white paper, its market cap has increased from as much as $320.58 billion in December 2017 to $1.091 trillion on December 1, 2021, and dropped to $822.31 billion on January 16, 2022, at an exchange rate of $43,436.81 to 1 bitcoin.

Anybody who had invested $100 in Bitcoin and bought one Bitcoin at the then rate of a Bitcoin to a dollar (i.e., 1BTC = $1) in February 2011 would have had approximately $4.34 million worth of Bitcoin by January 16, 2022.

Many people who invested in Bitcoin during its early days and purchased and saved as much as 1000 Bitcoins (equivalent to $1,000) in February 2011, would have about $43.44 million at the time of writing.

So far, Bitcoin has been indomitable and is the talk of the crypto world, even though it is not perfect in every regard. Its age and position as a pacesetter among cryptocurrencies definitely gives it an advantage and has helped it to occupy and maintain the number one spot in the league of cryptocurrencies.

Another advantage Bitcoin has is its popularity: the obvious fact that most people have heard so much about Bitcoin, but not so much about other cryptocurrencies, has given it a big edge over the rest.

As a result, even though people could choose from thousands of other cryptocurrencies and altcoins—which may be better long-term alternatives to Bitcoin—most cryptocurrency newbies would prefer to start with Bitcoin.

But despite its age and certain characteristics that place it on top of other cryptocurrencies, surprisingly, some people still think that Bitcoin could be the worst cryptocurrency to own or to invest in.

Because the age, characteristics, and popularity of Bitcoin have made it the top superstar of all cryptocurrencies, it is clearly the frontrunner every year and pulls the entire crypto market along with its volatility.

There are actually a ton of other digital coins or cryptos that are in the financial market and have improved on the characteristics of Bitcoin, in order to highlight their own pros and somewhat expose Bitcoin’s cons.

The main characteristics of Bitcoin are as follows

  • Bitcoin network is decentralized
  • Bitcoin is minable
  • Creation or mining of Bitcoin occurs through proof-of-work
  • Bitcoin’s trading symbol is “BTC”
  • Bitcoin transactions are anonymous—but not completely anonymous
  • Bitcoin transaction time is usually between 30 minutes and 24 hours
  • Bitcoin mining requires a lot of energy.

Important Things to Consider before Choosing a Cryptocurrency Wallet

A cryptocurrency wallet is a device that is used to access and manage one or more cryptocurrencies. A cryptocurrency wallet is a software that enables people to access and manage cryptocurrencies.

Cryptocurrency wallets are of different types. Each type is capable of catering for different user goals which may even require more than one type of crypto wallet to achieve.

Before you eventually settle for a particular crypto wallet, it may be important for you to conduct research on the types of crypto wallet options that exist and their characteristics, and determine how well they can suit your needs and crypto investment goals.

This article discusses some important things you should consider before choosing a cryptocurrency wallet to store, access, and manage your cryptocurrency:

1. Security

Although online (hot) crypto wallets may be more convenient to use than offline (cold) crypto wallets, online wallets aren’t the most secure types of wallets.

If you are an active crypto investor or trader, or have a lot of cryptos, it is advisable to use a highly secure cold wallet to store most of your crypto assets offline.

Even if most of your cryptos are offline, you can always transfer them to an online crypto wallet whenever you want to make use of them for different purposes such as investing and shopping.

Important questions you may ask yourself when considering the most secure crypto wallets:

  • is the website (for the crypto wallet) secure?
  • what type of authentication does the crypto wallet use?
  • are there online reviews about the crypto wallet?

(Note: You may have to search the internet for one or more websites that provide reviews for different types of crypto wallets.)

2. Ownership

Some crypto wallets can handle different types of cryptocurrencies, while some others can’t. Many crypto wallets have their respective official wallets for just one cryptocurrency.

If you’re interested in one cryptocurrency, and not that interested in diversifying among many cryptocurrencies, then you can settle for the official cryptocurrency wallet that is designed to hold the particular cryptocurrency of your interest.

(Note: The official wallet of a cryptocurrency is usually found on the crypto company’s website.)

However, if you wish to have more than one cryptocurrency in a wallet, then go for a multicurrency wallet which is similar to the majority of online wallets that makes it possible for users to store different cryptos and make transactions between/among multiple cryptos.

3. Transaction fees

Transaction fees are a pressing issue for some crypto investors or enthusiasts. If it’s also an issue for you, especially if you’re involved in a lot of crypto shopping, then you need to research and find out the likely transaction fees you may have to be paying if you are using a particular wallet.

Knowledge of the transaction fees is very important to active crypto investors and traders who, when ignorant about transaction fees, may carry out a lot of transactions and end up paying more for transaction fees and earning less from their investments.

What is the point of being an active investor when you are incurring losses because of transaction fees?

4. Anonymity

Although not equally important to everyone, anonymity is another aspect you may consider when choosing a crypto wallet. Why? Because anonymity can give you an extra layer of security by helping you put a divide between your online presence (personal life information) and your crypto funds.

Some crypto wallets offer complete anonymity, while some others don’t. Anonymity makes it difficult for people to track and steal cryptos tied to your personal information.

If you want to be anonymous, especially if it will boost your security, then choose the most private wallets such as Electrum, BitLox, and Samourai, depending on your needs.

Best Practices for Securing Your Cryptocurrencies & Crypto Wallets

Because cryptocurrencies have become highly valuable and continue to rise in value, it is crucial that best practices be employed to secure them along with the cryptocurrency wallets that store them, especially when hackers are knowledgeable enough to sometimes bypass high-level security in softwares and on online exchanges, and succeed in hacking people’s wallets.

No matter how secure you think your cryptocurrency wallet is, it is important to ensure that extra or all available steps are taken to enhance its security level, just like you would probably go the extra mile to ensure that the credit cards in your physical wallet are secure.

Cold or offline wallets are generally safer than hot or online wallets; however, if you are an active crypto trader, hot wallets are a better option because successful trading requires that traders be regularly online via hot wallets. This characteristic isn’t a feature of cold wallets, even though cold wallets are highly secure and can’t be as easily hacked as hot wallets.

Although hot wallets are more convenient to use, they aren’t the most secure types of wallets. Cold wallets, on the other hand, are much more secure and a great fit for storing larger amounts of cryptocurrency assets that won’t be used or touched for a definite or indefinite time period. If crypto assets are stored in cold wallets, but later have to be used for investing, trading, shopping, etc., they can always be transferred to hot wallets.

After selecting a cryptocurrency wallet that is aligned with your goals, it is important to consider the following tips which could help keep your crypto assets and wallet highly safe:

(1) Acquire many cryptocurrency wallets

We live in a time when it’s extremely important to be diverse—or diversify—instead of putting all our eggs in one basket. Acquiring a number of wallets and storing different amounts of crypto assets in each, is a great way to secure most of your total assets, especially if one or two of the wallets get compromised.

By having many wallets, it would be almost impossible to become bankrupt of cryptocurrencies if only one or two wallets are hacked, out of many. Preferably, you may want to save larger amounts of crypto assets in a combination of two or more hardware wallets, and keep the rest in smaller amounts spread across a number of different wallets.

(2) Back up your cryptocurrency wallets

Whether you decide to diversify your crypto savings or not, it’s important to enhance your cryptocurrency wallet security by backing it up just like files, documents, and photos are being widely backed up on computers.

The following information—including others, if available—should be regularly backed up in a secure local cloud: recent crypto addresses, PIN codes, usernames, passwords, and any important piece of information related to your wallet’s features.

Saving and backing up information would save you a ton of time and untold problems if you forget information like PIN codes, passwords, etc. Generally speaking, backing up can protect you from losses due to human errors, computer failures, or phone and computer theft which nobody can rule out with all certainty.

(3) Add more or all available security levels

Some cryptocurrency wallets have more or extra options that can be used to strengthen or tighten their security level. Here are some suggestions:

(a) Create a strong password and change it periodically

Although short passwords are easier to remember, when it comes to creating passwords for cryptocurrency wallets, it’s advisable to create a strong password of, if possible, not less than 16 characters long. It should consist of a mixture of lower- and upper-case letters, numbers, and punctuation marks. Avoid creating passwords that are recognizable English words and contain only letters.

(b) Use two-factor authentication (2FA)

Depending on the type of wallet you acquire, “two-factor authentication” may or may not be present, but most wallets likely have this feature. If your wallet enables or allows “two-factor authentication”, use it to further heighten your cryptocurrency wallet security.

Two-factor authentication is a double authentication method that works in different ways: a combination of both email/password and phone number is one way, while a combination of both username/password and an app like the Google Authenticator app is another way. Google Authenticator app provides a six-digit code that is changed every minute but is still unique to you.

(c) Encrypt your wallet

Encrypting your wallet may require some technical familiarity, so you may have to contact your wallet provider if you need information on how to encrypt your wallet. Encrypting a wallet—and important backups, if necessary—would enable you to protect your wallet with a passphrase and against dubious people who may attempt to withdraw your cryptos without your consent.

(4) Update your wallet software as often as possible

Whether they exist on your desktop or mobile phone, it’s important to ensure that you’re always using the latest versions of your wallets. Therefore, watch out for updates and immediately them whenever firms send out updates that contain security and stability fixes. By regularly updating your wallet software, it would have the latest security features that can help prevent minor and major problems.

10 Things to Consider Before Selecting a Cryptocurrency Exchange

The internet is full of cryptocurrency exchanges, and many more could be coming in the future. But which type of cryptocurrency exchange would be the best for you? Would it be a centralized cryptocurrency exchange (CEX)? Do you think a decentralized cryptocurrency exchange (DEX) would be the best for you? Or, do you think a hybrid cryptocurrency exchange (HEX) would do a good saving and trading job for you?

More importantly, even if you select a CEX, a DEX, or a HEX, which one among the many cryptocurrency exchanges under each type (CEX, DEX, and HEX) would be the best for you to choose and use, and why? What would you consider before selecting a cryptocurrency exchange? Or, would you just select anyone?

If you select a cryptocurrency exchange without considering some important things, you could be taking a big risk that would make you eventually lose your cryptocurrency investment. It would be better—especially if you are inexperienced or a first-timer in cryptocurrency investing—to carry out some research on cryptocurrency exchanges before selecting a cryptocurrency exchange.

Start Mining Free Pi Cryptocurrency Today & Possibly Become Rich in the Future

There are many cryptocurrency exchanges, and each cryptocurrency exchange has its own advantages and disadvantages that investors should consider before selecting one, or more of them—in case there is any interest in diversifying an investment portfolio.

This article provides information about some characteristics of cryptocurrency exchanges you have to consider in order to be in the best position to select a cryptocurrency exchange that would serve you well. The following are 10 important things you should consider before selecting a cryptocurrency exchange:

1. The level of security

Because cryptocurrency exchanges or platforms are always under constant surveillance and attacks from hackers and fraudsters, security is a major issue in the cryptocurrency industry.

Therefore, make sure the cryptocurrency exchange of your interest is registered under, at least, one government and has a high level of security which you can conduct thorough research for before making a decision.

11 Major Risks Associated with Cryptocurrencies

To be in the best position to choose a legitimate and secure cryptocurrency exchange, it may be important to search for the cryptocurrency exchange’s online reviews on sites like Reddit, or search for related news articles on reputable sites Forbes.

When evaluating a cryptocurrency exchange’s level of security, some other security features you may look for should include one, two, or all of the following:

  • The presence of cold storage method for storing most of the cryptocurrencies on the cryptocurrency exchange. It’s advisable to select a cryptocurrency exchange that can store your funds offline via cold storage method, in order to reduce the risk of online hacking.
  • The presence of two-factor authentication (2FA). It’s advisable to select a cryptocurrency exchange that has a two-factor authentication method that can tighten up the level of security on your account by requesting for your identity to be confirmed using a combination of two different methods (password, email, phone, etc.), instead of only one.
  • The presence and proof of a cryptocurrency reserve. It’s advisable to select a cryptocurrency exchange that conducts audits and verifies that the total amount of cryptocurrencies in its possession is at least equal to the sum total of the cryptocurrencies that are spread across all customers’ balances under its watch.

 2. The extent of transaction limits

Many cryptocurrency exchanges have daily deposit and withdrawal limits. If you’re the type of investor who likes making a lot of deposits and withdrawals each day, then it’s advisable to look at the transaction limits placed on the cryptocurrency exchange of your interest. Although the restrictions placed on the number of transactions may not be an issue for you, you still have to keep transaction limits in mind when choosing a cryptocurrency exchange, especially if you have great financial goals to achieve.

3. The types of trading options

If you’re an advanced or very active trader, then trading options would likely be very important to your financial goals. Depending on your degree of risk tolerance, it’s advisable to find out whether the cryptocurrency exchange of your interest would allow you to access certain order types or margin trading that can make some types of investment goals more attainable. However, before you get involved in such trading activities, try to understand the risks involved so that nothing takes you by surprise in case of any unfortunate outcome.

4. The payment method(s)

Different cryptocurrency exchanges have different payment platforms or methods which assign their respective fees for transfers regarding cryptocurrencies. Some exchanges require investors or traders to use PayPal, bank transfer deposit, or credit and debit cards, or a combination of payment methods. It is advisable to consider the payment methods accepted by a cryptocurrency exchange and take note of the one(s) that would be convenient and easier for you to pay through.

5. The degree of liquidity

Any cryptocurrency exchange that doesn’t have a sufficient or high level of liquidity would make it difficult for many traders or investors to achieve their financial or investment goals because the speed of transactions, especially withdrawals, may be slow or compromised. Therefore, depending on your financial goals—which might likely be the same as that of many other investors—it’s advisable to select a cryptocurrency exchange that offers sufficient or high liquidity and trading volume which ensure fast and easy transactions.

6. The service fees

In order to make money and stay in the cryptocurrency exchange business, cryptocurrency exchanges usually charge their respective customers (traders or investors) certain fees for using their services; they do so by taking a certain (usually small) percentage of customers’ trade. Most exchanges charge a percentage that is lesser than 1% of the amount traded. No matter what the percentage is, it’s advisable to consider the service fee and services offered before selecting a cryptocurrency exchange.

7. The presence and level of customer support

It’s advisable to find out whether a cryptocurrency exchange has customer support; more importantly, it’s advisable to find out the level of customer support offered to customers. You can get information regarding the presence and level of customer support by contacting any cryptocurrency exchange’s customer support, or checking online forums and observing whether customers have made complaints about being locked out of their accounts or not being able to access their accounts to make deposits or withdrawals. If a cryptocurrency is associated with any such complaints, then it has poor customer support; therefore, you may have to consider other cryptocurrency exchanges.

8. The type of supported cryptocurrencies and traditional (fiat) currencies

Before selecting a cryptocurrency exchange, make sure its platform supports any cryptocurrency you’re interested in saving or trading: you should be able to store and trade your cryptocurrency on the cryptocurrency exchange of your interest. On the other hand, if you don’t have a cryptocurrency, but want to purchase anyone from the cryptocurrency exchange, then make sure that the cryptocurrency exchange accepts deposits of your country’s traditional (fiat) currency, or at least accepts deposits of any other popular traditional currency (such as the dollar, euro, or pound). 

9. The type of user interface

For the sake of having good user experience, make sure the cryptocurrency exchange of your interest has an intuitive, easy-to-use, and swift user interface. However, it has to be noted that to a great extent, having good user experience depends on the type of device you intend to use for your cryptocurrency investing activities. If you’re someone who is always moving to and fro, then an exchange that has mobile app services would make it easier or possible for you to get the best user experience which can, in turn, help you take more efficient actions on the cryptocurrency exchange.

10. The location of the cryptocurrency exchange

Depending on your location in the world, it may be easier, better, and even safer and to use a cryptocurrency exchange that is in your country, rather than a cryptocurrency exchange that’s in another country. Using a cryptocurrency exchange in your country would make it easier to buy cryptocurrencies using your countries fiat currency, and also withdraw money in your local currency after selling cryptocurrencies; in addition, in case there is fraud, or the cryptocurrency exchange is hacked and you are affected, it would be easier to file a case against the cryptocurrency exchange, especially if it is registered with the government.

Hybrid Cryptocurrency Exchanges

This article defines hybrid cryptocurrency exchanges (HEXs), states the benefits of using HEXs, and concludes with a list of some HEXs.

If you’re interested in reading about centralized cryptocurrency exchanges (CEXs), click here; in order to read about decentralized cryptocurrency exchanges (DEXs), click here.

Definition of hybrid cryptocurrency exchanges

Hybrid cryptocurrency exchanges are online cryptocurrency platforms that merge centralized characteristics of CEXs (such as liquidity and functionality) together with decentralized characteristics of DEXs (such as the higher level of security and anonymity) and allow clients to trade in a peer-to-peer manner while it—HEXs—provides confirmations and records transactions on the blockchain network.

Many people believe that HEXs are the cryptocurrency exchanges of the future because they aim at combining the advantages of both CEXs and DEXs, thereby providing clients with the best services that stem from the characteristics of both CEXs and DEXs.

Hybrid cryptocurrency exchanges ensure that there is higher liquidity, no fraudulent practices and hacking, and trading can be carried out in a manner that is smoother and safer than what is being experienced on decentralized cryptocurrency exchanges.

Major benefits of using hybrid cryptocurrency exchanges

1. It addresses problems or issues that are peculiar to both CEXs and DEXs, and makes it possible for clients to trade on both centralized and decentralized cryptocurrency exchange platforms.

2. Clients have full custody and control of their cryptocurrencies, even if middlemen or third parties are allowed to regulate the trading or exchange of cryptocurrencies. Atomic swaps make it possible for clients to exchange cryptocurrencies directly between each other, as it is being done on DEXs.

3. Instead of being stored in hot wallets (online wallets), clients’ cryptocurrencies or funds are stored in cold wallets (offline wallets) which are not connected to the internet; hence; clients’ cryptos or funds are safe from cyber-attacks.

4. Hybrid cryptocurrency exchanges comply with different regulations on cryptocurrencies and ensure that clients have the utmost level of privacy.

Examples of top hybrid cryptocurrency exchanges

1. Qurrex: https://www.qurrex.com

2. NEXT: https://next.exchange/

3. Legolas Hybrid Exchange: https://legolas.exchange/

4. Eidoo Hybrid Exchange: https://eidoo.io/crypto-exchange

5. Nash: https://nash.io/

6. Joyso: https://joyso.io/

Decentralized Cryptocurrency Exchanges

This article defines decentralized cryptocurrency exchanges (DEXs), states the types of activities that can occur on DEXs, and concludes with a list of some DEXs.

If you’re interested in reading about centralized cryptocurrency exchanges (CEXs), click here; in order to read about hybrid cryptocurrency exchanges (HEXs), click here.

Definition of decentralized cryptocurrency exchanges

In the cryptocurrency world, “decentralize” means that “cryptocurrency operations (buying, selling, or trading) are not being monitored or controlled by a middleman or third-party”.

Decentralized cryptocurrency exchanges are online cryptocurrency platforms that don’t use third-party providers before trades occur between cryptocurrency buyers and sellers.

Unlike CEXs, DEX platforms don’t use middlemen and are known for being hack-proof and maintaining anonymity. However, because DEXs are somewhat slow when compared with CEXs, under certain circumstances it’s more difficult to use DEXs to exploit cryptocurrency volatility and earn more money or cryptos.

On DEX platforms, cryptocurrency buyers and sellers interact with one another, and transactions or trades occur directly between them in a “peer-to-peer” manner.

Although many fans of DEXs argue that it’s better to use DEXs for trading (buying and selling) of cryptocurrencies because they are decentralized and allow peer-to-peer interaction without middlemen, it’s important to point out that as at the time of writing, DEXs had their own problems which are discussed a bit later in this article.

Possible activities on decentralized cryptocurrency exchanges

1. People/clients can save their cryptocurrencies in escrows that are centralized by the DEXs. Escrows exist on DEX platforms to hold funds for transactions which can take as many as five days before they are cleared.

2. Clients can buy cryptocurrencies directly from DEX market participants, and also sell cryptocurrencies directly to them without using intermediaries.

3. Generally, clients can make cryptocurrency deals on DEXs through the use of “smart contracts” and “atomic swaps”, instead of middlemen or third parties. Smart contracts are codes or programs that ensure certain legal actions or events take place in accordance with agreed terms between buyers and sellers. Atomic swaps consist of automated smart contract technology which makes it possible for one cryptocurrency to be exchanged or traded for another without the use of middlemen or centralized intermediaries.

Issues with decentralized cryptocurrency exchanges

Although it’s more difficult for hackers to hack clients’ accounts on DEXs, there is a high possibility for clients to lose their money if they forget their account log-in details.

Decentralized cryptocurrency exchanges suffer from the impact of low liquidity, meaning that it’s more difficult to buy or sell cryptocurrencies on DEXs.

The reason for this is because DEXs are less popular than CEXs; as a result, it’s difficult for clients—who want to buy or sell their cryptocurrencies—to find and be matched with other clients—who want to sell or buy cryptocurrencies.

Unfortunately, the liquidity in DEXs will likely continue to remain low as long as DEXs are less popular than CEXs.

Another issue with DEX platforms is that they don’t have services that can make it possible for clients to deposit and withdraw fiat currencies like dollars, pounds, and euros.

Moreover, DEXs can be sluggish and expensive, and when clients want to transfer cryptocurrencies and cancel orders, they would have to pay commissions or fees.

Examples of decentralized cryptocurrency exchanges

1. Bisq: https://www.bisq.network/

2. BitShares: https://wallet.bitshares.org/

3. Stellar DEX (SDEX): https://www.stellar.org/

4. Waves DEX: https://dex.wavesplatform.com/

5. IDEX: https://www.idex.market/ or https://idex.io/

6. DexGuru: https://dex.guru/

7. AirSwap: https://www.airswap.io/

8. Atomex: https://atomex.me/

Centralized Cryptocurrency Exchanges

It would be important to familiarize yourself with the major risks associated with cryptocurrencies and have sufficient reasons why you should invest in cryptocurrencies before you start buying cryptocurrencies for investing or trading purposes.

Although you can buy cryptocurrencies by paying cash to acquire them, such transactions are not common. The most popular way to buy cryptocurrencies for investing or trading purposes is through online “cryptocurrency exchanges” which are also known as “digital cryptocurrency exchanges” (DCEs).

Depending on your cryptocurrency investing plans, you can consider different alternative methods for purchasing cryptocurrencies; for example, if you plan to be actively involved in cryptocurrency trading, you can use a traditional cryptocurrency exchange or broker.

On the other hand, if you plan to buy cryptocurrencies and store them in your wallet instead of trading them, you can use any trusted online/local cryptocurrency exchange.

A cryptocurrency exchange or digital currency exchange is an online cryptocurrency platform that consists of any technology and service that enables people to trade or exchange (buy and sell) cryptocurrencies.

11 Factors that can Determine Bitcoin Price Volatility

Fiat currencies (dollars, pounds, euros, pounds, yen, or any currencies that governments regard as legal tender), electronic money, and digital assets can be used to trade cryptocurrencies on cryptocurrency exchanges.

Cryptocurrency exchanges are broadly classified into centralized cryptocurrency exchanges (CEXs), decentralized cryptocurrency exchanges (DEXs), and hybrid cryptocurrency exchanges (HEXs) which are developed to solve the problems peculiar to centralized and decentralized exchanges.

This article defines centralized cryptocurrency exchanges (CEXs), states the types of activities that occur on CEXs, and concludes with a list of ten top CEXs.

Definition of centralized cryptocurrency exchanges

In the cryptocurrency world, “centralize” means that “cryptocurrency operations (buying, selling, or trading) are being monitored or controlled by a middleman or third-party”.

Centralized cryptocurrency exchanges are online cryptocurrency platforms that use third-party providers to coordinate trades between cryptocurrency buyers and sellers. On the contrary, decentralized exchanges don’t use middlemen or third parties.

Because buyers and sellers interact to trade on CEXs, and the CEXs play the role of a middleman or third party, CEXs are similar to traditional stock exchanges.

CEXs usually charge commissions when they facilitate transactions between the buyers and the sellers, provide alternatives for high liquidity, and maintain full control over cryptocurrency buyers’ and sellers’ assets which are usually stored in hot wallets, and can be easily accessed on the internet by their owners.

Possible activities on centralized cryptocurrency exchanges

1. People/clients can place their money or fiat currencies on CEXs, and the CEXs would store it for them.

2. Clients can note or observe fluctuations in the prices of the available cryptocurrencies on the CEXs.

3. Whenever clients are interested, they can use their fiat currencies (dollars, pounds, euros, pounds, yen, etc.) to buy available cryptocurrencies of their choice. Clients are even allowed to exchange or swap fiat currencies with cryptocurrencies, or swap one or more cryptocurrencies for another or other cryptocurrencies.

4. Clients can place orders for their cryptocurrencies to be bought or sold.

5. Centralized cryptocurrency exchanges look for sellers on their platform to match with buy orders, and buyers to match with sell orders. In this way, clients who are interested in selling cryptocurrencies would be merged with buy orders, and clients who are interested in buying cryptocurrencies would be merged with sell orders.

Although most CEXs allow pairings or exchanges between two different cryptocurrencies, not all of them allow pairings between fiat currencies and cryptocurrencies.

The major issue with centralized cryptocurrency exchanges

The major issue with CEXs is that they are vulnerable to attacks, and it’s always possible for them to be hacked by hackers. A number of hacking scandals have occurred in the past; this is why it’s important to find out whether a CEX is competent enough to combat hackers, and also pay clients in case their platform gets hacked in the future.

The total number of CEXs will likely continue to increase, but no two CEXs will be equal; some of them will achieve success, while others will perform averagely or fail. Therefore, if you are interested in using a CEX, look for detailed information about the available CEXs and choose the best from the best.

Examples of top centralized cryptocurrency exchanges

1. Luno: https://www.luno.com/

2. Coinbase: https://www.coinbase.com/

3. Kraken: https://www.kraken.com/

4. Bittrex: https://www.bittrex.com/

5. Robinhood: https://www.robinhood.com

6. Bitfinex: https://www.bitfinex.com

7. Gemini: https://www.gemini.com/

8. Huobi: https://www.huobi.com

9. Binance: https://www.binance.com

10. KuCoin: https://kucoin.com

Definition of Cryptocurrency

Between 2009 and 2011, Bitcoin was the only cryptocurrency in existence until alternative coins—also known as altcoins—were created to improve on anonymity, speed, and security, amongst other properties associated with the field of cryptocurrency which Bitcoin pioneered.

There are many cryptocurrencies out there; in fact, as of April 2021, there were over 9,500 cryptocurrencies in circulation listed on the Coinmarketcap. This number is expected to increase in the future as people’s interest in cryptocurrencies keeps rising.

Although you might have heard about cryptocurrencies and known how it works, it’s possible you still don’t know what cryptocurrency actually is, or what it means. The topic of cryptocurrencies and the blockchain technology that drives them can be a bit confusing.

So, what is cryptocurrency? This article uses relatable terminology to explain in detail what cryptocurrency is, and the science of cryptography that decentralizes and drives cryptocurrencies, and makes them secure; generally, the following topics are discussed:

  • Definition of cryptocurrency
  • Cryptocurrencies are driven by the basics of cryptography
  • Cryptography’s three main encryption methods used in cryptocurrency
  • Cryptocurrencies and traditional currencies
  • 5 benefits of cryptocurrencies that differentiate them from fiat currencies

Definition of cryptocurrency

Simply defined, cryptocurrency is digital currency or money. Technically speaking, cryptocurrency is a decentralized digital currency that is created based on the cryptographic principles (principles of cryptography) that are applied in blockchain technology.

Cryptography is a branch of scientific knowledge or mathematics that analyzes and deciphers codes and ciphertexts and cryptograms to secure information by converting it into unintelligible forms that provide security, enhance and maintain decentralization, and make it impossible or extremely difficult for third parties to understand.

Cryptocurrencies are driven by the basics of cryptography

Cryptocurrencies are driven by cryptography: the scripting language used in most cryptocurrencies is created with cryptography as its major pillar. The “crypto” in the word “cryptography” and “cryptocurrency” means “secret.”

In the world of cryptocurrency, the word “crypto” is synonymous with being “anonymous”. In ancient times, cryptography was used to send hidden messages. In fact, the term “cryptography” was derived from the Greek word “krypto logos” which means “secret writing”. The sender of a message would “encrypt” a message by using a “key”, and the receiver of the message would have to “decrypt” it.

When used in cryptocurrencies and their underlying blockchain technology, cryptography makes it difficult to create fake cryptocurrency tokens; on the other hand, it creates more transparency over the number of tokens created and issued to clients and held by them.

Cryptocurrencies use cryptography to keep their platforms safe, anonymous, and protected from double-spending which is a situation whereby a client’s cryptocurrency could be used or spent more than once.

Cryptocurrency platforms use cryptography in a way that makes it possible for anyone to open a cryptocurrency account without requesting permission from a third party or third parties. Instead of using names, account numbers, and passwords—like traditional or fiat currency platforms (banks, PayPal, etc.) do—cryptocurrency platforms use public keys as account numbers and digital signatures as passwords.

In the world of cryptocurrency, anyone can use a public key as their account number and create their own cryptocurrency account with their computer, phone, or device without asking a third party for an account and credentials to access or operate their account.

An account can be created by selecting a private key (which is a random number) and deriving a public key from it. A public key is generated from a private key; a private key is a random number because it is selected at random.

The account numbers of most cryptocurrencies, which are called “addresses”, are mathematically derived from public keys. Cryptocurrency addresses are the cryptocurrency accounts that people send/transfer cryptocurrencies from or use to receive cryptocurrency payments from other cryptocurrency addresses within the same platform (Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, etc.).

Nobody can spend any cryptocurrency from the address that belongs to its owner unless the owner gives someone or anyone else their private key. The owner of a cryptocurrency address is at liberty to create as many addresses as they want; their cryptocurrency wallet (which stores cryptocurrency) would manage the addresses on their behalf.

In the cryptocurrency world, although third parties have been eliminated in creating cryptocurrency accounts, there are actually parties involved in the central bookkeeping; however, such parties act in a decentralized manner with no actual party, person, or computer being in complete control of cryptocurrency bookkeeping.

Cryptography’s three main encryption methods used in cryptocurrency

1. Hashing or hash function

Hashing is used in cryptocurrency platforms like Bitcoin to guess the combination of a block’s lock, maintain the structure of blockchain data, encode clients’ addresses/accounts, and make it possible to mine new blocks. After a client inputs initial/original data, the hash function operates on the data and creates an output that is smaller in size but represents the original data.

2. Symmetric cryptography

In symmetric encryption, which is the easiest method employed in cryptography, both the sender and receiver of data use only one secret key; the major drawback of this encryption method is that before the initial data can be encrypted, every party in a transaction has to exchange the secret key used to encrypt the initial data.

3. Asymmetric cryptography

In asymmetric encryption, two keys are used: a public key and a private key. The receiver can use their public key to encrypt the initial message or data sent from someone else and received by them; however, the receiver can only use their private key to decrypt the initial data or message sent.


For the sake of clarity, it has to be stated that nodes are not among the main encryption methods. Nodes are the computers, printers, or cellphones that are connected to the internet and are on the blockchain network. In the type of cryptography used in cryptocurrency, nodes serve as electronic devices that do bookkeeping in the blockchain network of respective cryptocurrencies and make the decentralization of cryptocurrencies possible.

Cryptocurrencies and traditional currencies

Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency to be created, and many other cryptocurrencies have been created over the years after Bitcoin was established. Although cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are created through a process called “mining”, not all cryptocurrencies are being mined. The process of mining or creating cryptocurrencies is very different from the traditional method of mining ore and precious metals.

Traditional or fiat currencies like the dollar, pound, and euro—which are not cryptocurrencies—can be digitally transferred, but cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, etc.) can’t be digitally transferred in the same way that fiat currencies can because there is a difference between their respective transfer processes and the technology that drives them.

Regardless of whether a cryptocurrency is mined or not mined, its transaction needs validation in its own blockchain network; this implies that transactions have to be verified by people in the network in order to provide proof for the transactions and ensure that the same cryptocurrency token hasn’t been spent twice. The extent of validation in a cryptocurrency network is completely different from the one applicable to fiat currencies. 

Although each cryptocurrency is gradually becoming mainstream like traditional currencies that are being used to make payments electronically on some platforms, traditional currencies aren’t created and transferred the same way cryptocurrencies are created and transferred.

5 benefits of cryptocurrencies that differentiate them from traditional/fiat currencies

Until quite recently—probably a few years ago—many people underrated how important cryptocurrencies they would become in the near future. Cryptocurrencies help in areas where the world’s traditional currencies have issues. The main benefits of cryptocurrencies are:

1. They empower people to be in charge of their own money. Governments and central banks have a lot of control over fiat currency, and in many instances, have frozen people’s accounts and denied them access to their funds because of one reason or another. Governments may even decide to get rid of high-value banknotes the way India did in 2016 when it wiped out 550- and 1000-rupee notes from circulation; these notes represented around 87% of the total cash in circulation.

2. They make it possible for currencies, mostly cryptocurrencies, to be transferred much faster and at less expensive rates because middlemen or third parties aren’t involved. On the other hand, the transfer of fiat currencies is usually slow, and transactions are expensive because of the involvement of middlemen or third parties such as brokers, banks, and escrows, etc.

3. They make it easy for most of the world’s unbanked and underbanked population to have access to the financial services offered by the blockchain technology of their respective platforms. On the other hand, fiat currencies make it difficult for approximately half the world’s population (over 3 billion people) to have sufficient access to modern-day financial services.

4. They reduce corruption and provide a much more fair playing field because they are decentralized and not controlled by governments or banks. With fiat currencies, there is a consistent rise in financial inequality around the world. Usually, when one person or few people are in power, there is a high possibility for them to abuse power and increase it.

5. They increase in value and don’t tend to create inflation/negative effects of inflation because, unlike fiat currencies, they can’t be printed excessively. Most cryptocurrencies are limited to a number of coins that can be printed. There is no way for a central authority or the blockchain to simply create more coins to add to the predetermined or existing supply. With fiat currencies, there are problems and negative impacts of inflation because governments and central banks can simply print a lot of money whenever they are faced with serious economic problems. However, when governments print more money, the value of their currencies drops to such an extent that inflation drastically increases and makes it difficult or impossible for its citizens to buy everyday goods and services.