February 22, 2024

There are hundreds of cryptocurrencies to choose from, ranging from well-known names like Bitcoin and Ethereum to more obscure cryptos like Theta Fuel or Holo. “Each block contains a hash (a digital fingerprint or unique identifier), timestamped batches of recent valid transactions, and the hash of the previous block.

Cryptocurrencies don’t have a central issuing or regulating authority, instead using a decentralized system to record transactions and issue new units. A year later, the number of cryptocurrencies had surged to more than double. The success of blockchain technology and varied use of coins continued to lead to further market growth. Instead of exchanging money through a third party, like a bank, cryptocurrency allows users to transfer digital currency directly. However, unlike traditional forms of currency such as the U.S. dollar, the government does not insure deposits and federal agencies have taken limited steps to regulate the crypto industry. Cryptocurrency reached its highest value point in 2021, valued at nearly $3 trillion.

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The most popular in this ecosystem is Ethereum – one of the fastest-growing cryptocurrencies in the market. There is also a range of other altcoins in the market today such as Luckyblock, Shiba Inu and Terra. Bitcoin uses a proof-of-work system to validate transactions on the network. Bitcoin has a fixed supply of 21 million and a deflationary “halving” feature. With this halving feature, the reward for mining a block of bitcoin is cut in half approximately every 4 years. Financial institutions, like large investment funds, brokerages, and banks, have also been leaning into crypto. According to research from Fidelity Digital Assets’ 2021 Institutional Investor Digital Study, 71% of US and European institutional investors surveyed intend to allocate to digital assets in the future.

Blockchain describes the way transactions are recorded into “blocks” and time stamped. It’s a fairly complex, technical process, but the result is a digital ledger of cryptocurrency transactions that’s hard for hackers to tamper with.

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Taking Bitcoin for example, it was legal in February 2020 in the United States, Japan, the U.K., and most developed countries. In the U.S., the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) refers to cryptocurrency as “virtual currency,” and issued guidelines for taxpayers. The IRS also states virtual currency transactions are taxable by law just like transactions in any other property. Taxpayers transacting in virtual currency may have to report those transactions on their tax returns. For specific tax information about virtual currency, check out the Virtual Currencies Center on the IRS website. Cryptocurrency is a type of currency that uses digital files as money. It’s decentralized, which means no one person or entity controls it.

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As talks of an economic downturn started, cryptocurrency values began its crash. During the largest decline, the two largest digital currencies lost nearly three-quarters of their value. As of January 2023, the cryptocurrency market was valued at nearly $993 billion.

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The volatility of cryptocurrencies fuels addictive behaviour in a way that regular stock market trading does not. “Because it goes up and down so much, it releases endorphins, and acts as an emotional trigger,” Marini says. It’s not hard to see why people from these communities might be more attracted to investing, when the odds of getting a well-paid job and purchasing a property are so stacked against them.

There are multiple options to consider when it comes to digital wallets. Here’s how much tax you’ll be paying on your income from Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies.

How to choose a cryptocurrency

The mining process starts with the cryptocurrency protocol generating a target hash, which is a string of characters, for a block of transactions. Each protocol has a mining algorithm that it uses to generate these hashes. Stash does not represent in any manner that the circumstances described herein will result in any particular outcome. While the data and analysis Stash uses from third party sources is believed to be reliable, Stash does not guarantee the accuracy of such information.

If you choose to trade cryptocurrency on your phone, make sure you’re using a safe crypto exchange app with strong security features. Unfortunately, some apps are fake and may be used to steal your private keys, while poor security on others could leave you exposed to hacking attempts. As with risky investments in general, it’s never a great idea to put all your eggs in one basket.

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