Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency 101


We know that our readers don’t get this Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies thing. Even for tech savvy people it’s a bit of an academic stretch. So we at CARIBBEAN TIMES NEWS have decided to break it all down, dispense with the jargon and give it to you in layman’s terms. Cryptocurrencies are often referred to as coins. They are all digital currencies that are secured through cryptography. This is al about the enciphering and deciphering of messages in secret code or cipher. So a cryptocurerency is like a dollar that you can shove in your wallet. But they all can be concerted to “hard currency” – dollars, British pounds, Spanish Pesos or German Marks. Got that?

Ok. Let’s move on. Many of these cryptocurrencies (and there are many of them on the market) rely on blockchain technology that is a distributed ledger of all transactions that is decentralized and unable to be changed under most circumstances as long as nobody controls more than 50% of the computing power on the network.

But unlike traditional currencies (dollars, marks, pesos), they are not controlled by any central bank, government or governmental statutory authority. In the case of some of these currencies (Bitcoin, Monero, and Litecoin for example), the supply of new coins is controlled by a process called “mining.” This is a computationally intensive process where computers (called mining nodes) compete against each other to secure the network by solving mathematical equations, collecting bitcoins as a reward if they are the first to create a new valid block, which is then broadcasted to the rest of the network and added to the blockchain.

So from a pure market cap perspective, Bitcoin is far and away the largest cryptocurrency and the most well-known. As of last December it accounted for $328 billion out of the total value of $598 billion across the 1,360 cryptocurrencies on the market. Beyond bitcoin there are 27 other coins that have a market cap of $1 billion or more. Ether, Ripple, Litecoin, Dash, Monero, Zcash and IOTA are just a few cryptocurrency examples.

Here’s what you have to understand about cryptocurrencies. There’s a lot of risk, especially if you get jacked up on the hype. But you can become a millionaire literally overnight. But, it’s impossible to entirely understand cryptocurrencies right off the bat. That’s not going to happen. We’ve heard many sob stories of people losing money because they did not understand the process or just get caught up in the craze or listen to so-called “experts” who are amateurs themselves. It’s best to educate yourself little by little.

So, start by learning about ledgers, wallets, exchanges, and how to buy and sell. Invest a little money to help you understand how each of them works and how they interact with each other. When you feel comfortable with the structure of cryptocurrency investment, invest more. To help you get started we recommend signing up for a cryptocurrency newsletter at Coziny at


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