Beginners Guide to Cryptocurrencies

Cryptocurrencies have taken the world by storm; everyone is discussing their investments in Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum and the growth potential of other coins.

Mining for coins has become a pastime for people from all walks of life, from scholars to accountants.  This article will give you a beginners guide to cryptocurrencies, providing a basic introduction into what Cryptocurrencies are, which ones people are investing in and how to get started.


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Introduction to cryptocurrencies

Cryptocurrencies are quite simply digital coins that are used in an online environment in place of traditional currencies to complete transactions.  Based on open source blockchain technology, the record of the transaction is available to everyone, known as a public ledger, and this makes fraud of cryptocoins very difficult.

All participants can see all transactions on the ledger, ensuring that a coin cannot be spent more than once. Cryptocoins also remove the need for a middleman to manage the transaction, such as a bank, which makes them more efficient.

In addition, because the transaction exists on computers all over the world, the system is redundant and secure.

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Best cryptocurrencies

Since the launch of Bitcoin, hundreds and new cryptocurrencies have been launched, most of these know as Altcoin’s (alternative coins). Some of the currencies are fun currencies, like Dogecoin, and some have great potential and value.

Currently there are more then 1500 cryptocurrencies in circulation.

The list below looks at the top performing currencies of 2017.

  • Ripple, XRP ( was the worlds best performing digital asset of 2017. With a market cap of more the $85 billion it is currently the fourth largest cryptocurrency.
  • Bitcoin,BTC ( remains top of the list from a market capitalisation point of view, worth more than $128 million. Bitcoin is the most expensive cryptocurrency but investors can buy “ Satoshi” which are pieces of Bitcoin. Bitcoin has grown in value from $880 per Bitcoin to $3 775 since it’s launch.
  • Ether, ETH ( is high on the list if cryptocurrencies worth investigating for investment. Ethereum’s ability to build smart contacts on top of it’s technology gives the currency good potential for additional applications. In the year since its launch, Ethereum has grown in value from $10.03 to $225.
  • Litecoin, LTC ( was launched in 2011 as a competitor to Bitcoin and grew an incredible 8200% during the 2017-year. Litecoin’s market capitalisation is currently around the $17.8 million mark.
  • Dash (, formerly Xcoin and Darkcoin, has a market cap of $3 million dollars and has been in circulation for more than three years. During the three years the value per Dash Coin has increased from $ 12.23 to $ 340.03 at the end of 2017.

Investing in cryptocurrency

The increase in the value of cryptocurrencies in the last year has been incredible and many people who got into the market early have made a lot of money.

However before investing it is important to do research into your coin of choice and to understand the risks of investing. The market is incredibly volatile and any investor must know there is a risk of losing all your invested money.

The following sites, articles and video’s can assist you in getting started with cryptocurrency investments. Each of the cryptocurrency home-pages mentioned above, will also help you to get started investing in the specific coin.

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