A cryptocurrency is a digitally-encrypted, decentralized currency that is not connected to or controlled by any government or central bank, unlike traditional currencies such as the US dollar (issued by the Federal Reserve), euro (European Central Bank), or Japanese yen (Bank of Japan), among many others.
In the past, trying to find a merchant that accepts cryptocurrency was extremely difficult, if not impossible. These days, however, the situation is completely different. There are a lot of merchants - both online and offline - that accept Bitcoin as the form of payment. They range from massive online retailers like Overstock and Newegg to small local shops, bars and restaurants. Bitcoins can be used to pay for hotels, flights, jewelery, apps, computer parts and even a college degree. Other digital currencies like Litecoin, Ripple, Ethereum and so on aren’t accepted as widely just yet. Things are changing for the better though, with Apple having authorized at least 10 different cryptocurrencies as a viable form of payment on App Store
There are a lot of different options when it comes to buying Bitcoins. For example, there are currently almost 1,800 Bitcoin ATMs in 58 countries. Moreover, you can buy BTC using gift cards, cryptocurrency exchanges, investment trusts and you can even trade face-to-face.
When it comes to other, less popular cryptocurrencies, the buying options aren’t as diverse. However, there are still numerous exchanges where you can acquire various crypto-coins for flat currencies or Bitcoins. Face-to-face trading is also a popular way of acquiring coins. Buying options depend on particular cryptocurrencies, their popularity as well as your location.
Bitcoin has grown rapidly in prominence as the world’s first and most popular cryptocurrency.
Litecoin is used primarily as a payment transaction cryptocurrency that has been called “silver to Bitcoin’s gold.”
Ethereum has rapidly gained popularity on the heels of Bitcoin, and currently has a market capitalization.
Created in 2012, Ripple differs from Bitcoin in that it does not require mining to create the cryptocurrency.
Dash is unique in that it is considered a highly anonymous and secretive cryptocurrency that specializes in virtually untraceable transactions.
This is a cryptocurrency recognisable for its image of a Shiba Inu. Initially introduced as a parody currency, it now has its own online community.