Cryptocurrency is just what it sounds like – money, but digital. It all began with Bitcoin back in 2009. Since then, many other projects have popped up and the decentralized finance world is only growing bigger by the minute. Because cryptocurrency is not regulated by governments like traditional money, it gives people unprecedented freedom when it comes to monetary policy.
Take inflation, for example. At different points of history almost all governments have decided printing more money will help them finance their war efforts or get them out of a recession. The problem is that this often leads to inflation, because now there is more money chasing the same amount of goods. Monetary policy decisions made by governments can have serious implications on people’s wealth and purchasing power.
With cryptocurrency, there is often a set supply of coins and tokens. The way the currency is created can limit issuance and help to control inflation. For example, Bitcoin is produced through a process called “mining,” in which computers compete to solve complex math problems. The first computer to do so is rewarded with a new Bitcoin. The process is designed so that there will only ever be 21 million Bitcoins in existence.
This is all well and good, you might be thinking, but will cryptocurrency ever catch on in the real world? After all, it’s not like you can go to your local grocery store and buy a carton of milk with Bitcoin. While it’s true that cryptocurrency is not yet widely accepted, there are a growing number of businesses and organizations that are beginning to adopt it.
In this article, we’re looking at some of the most important real-world applications of cryptocurrency.
One of the most obvious applications of cryptocurrency is online payments. Because cryptocurrency is digital, it can be sent anywhere in the world almost instantly and at very low
costs. This makes it an attractive option for businesses and individuals who need to send or receive payments quickly and cheaply.
With a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin you can send money to your loved one on another continent without having to worry about hefty bank fees or slow transfer times. And because the transaction is recorded on a decentralized ledger (more on that later), it’s much more difficult to commit fraud with cryptocurrency than with traditional methods like credit cards.
Shopping for Goods and Services
This is what money is for, right? You work hard and you want to be able to buy the things you want and need. An increasing number of businesses are beginning to accept cryptocurrency as a payment method, which means you can now buy goods and services with Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other digital assets.
Digital products and services are the easiest to buy with crypto. Companies like Microsoft and most major VPNs are more than happy to take your crypto payments. The same goes for stores like Newegg, which became the first large retailer to accept BTC back in 2014.
Physical stores are a bit more complicated, but there are still options. For example, you can use the Flexa network to spend your crypto at select retailers like Whole Foods and Office Depot. Starbucks uses another crypto processing app called Bakkt, which allows users to convert their crypto into USD and then spend it at their locations.
Gambling with cryptocurrency is a popular pastime for many crypto enthusiasts. The industry has been growing steadily and there are now a number of different crypto casinos and gambling platforms to choose from. One of the biggest crypto casinos, Stake, has at least $1 billion value of their operations, say industry experts. A casino and sportsbook, they have been sponsoring major events and world-class athletes. Today, Stake is one of the major players in the online gambling industry – all without having a single brick-and-mortar location.
There are a number of reasons why gambling with crypto is so popular. For one, it’s incredibly fast and easy to do. You can deposit your crypto, place your bets, and withdraw your winnings
all in a matter of minutes. And because crypto gambling platforms are not subject to the same regulations as traditional casinos, they often offer better odds and more games.
Another perk of crypto gambling, provable fairness, is a game-changer (pun intended) for many players. With traditional online casinos, you have to take the casino’s word that the games are fair. With crypto gambling, however, the games’ outcomes can be verified using cryptographic algorithms. This means that you can be sure you’re not being cheated.
Investing and trading is another popular real-world application of cryptocurrency. Many people see crypto as the next big thing and are putting money into digital assets in hopes of making a profit down the road.
Of course, all of this is risky business and you should never invest more than you’re willing to lose. That being said, there are a number of different ways to dip your toes in cryptocurrency as a part of your portfolio. You can start by setting up a user-friendly Coinbase account and buying some of the more popular coins like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash. Or, if you’re feeling more adventurous, you can use an exchange like Binance to buy altcoins from up-and-coming projects where you can make a lot more money if the price goes up.
The important thing to remember is that, like any other investment, you need to do your research before putting your money in. Be sure to read up on a project and understand its roadmap before investing
These are just a few of the many real-world applications of cryptocurrency. As the industry continues to grow, we can expect to see crypto being used in more and more ways. One thing is for sure, though, cryptocurrency is here to stay. So, even if you have no intention of investing in crypto, it’s still a good idea to understand how it works and how it might affect your life down the road.