Guide to Learning Cryptocurrency, incl. Free Tutorials • Discoverology
29 items | 240m read

Ultimate Guide To Learning Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency

6m read | Introduction
Ultimate Guide To Learning Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency

Over the past few years, cryptocurrency has become a global phenomenon. In simple words, cryptocurrency is a digital currency. It is one of those things that gained massive popularity within a short period of time. It is an internet-based system used to carry out financial transactions. Blockchain technology is leveraged to achieve transparency, decentralization, and immutability. One of the most important aspects of cryptocurrency is that it is decentralized. No central authority controls it. This way, cryptocurrencies are impervious to the old methods of government interference and control.

Two parties can directly send them to each other while using both private and public keys. The minimum amount of processing fee is involved in the transfer allowing the users affordable financial transactions rather than paying a hefty amount to the conventional financial institutions.

A Brief History

This isn’t common knowledge, but cryptocurrency’s invention was accidental. During another project, bitcoin surfaced on digital media as a side product. Bitcoin’s inventor, Mr. Satoshi Nakamoto never had the intention to make Bitcoin, which ranks as the first and one of the most important cryptocurrencies to exist today.

In late 2008, when he announced about Bitcoin, he stated that he had developed a Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System. He aimed to come up with something most people had been unsuccessful in, before digital cash came into being. Perhaps the only and the most significant aspect of his invention was that he had created a way to build a decentralized digital cash system. And thus, Bitcoin came into being –the first-ever digital currency to date. This began an era of digital currencies, and many others followed.

It is not that no one tried to create digital money before. Many did, back in the 90s but all attempts were unsuccessful.

How do cryptocurrencies work?

Now, let’s try and understand the working of cryptocurrencies. The first thing to know is that a network of peers exists that wants to carry out a digital financial transaction. Each peer possesses a record that contains the entire history of a transaction and the balance that each account holds. Cryptocurrency runs on basic p2p-technology.

Understanding a transaction, let’s say A gives X number of Bitcoins to B. A then signs the transaction with his private key. It is simple public-key cryptography and nothing more. After the signing process, the network broadcasts the transaction, which is sent off from a single peer to all other peers.

About Blockchain and Cryptocurrency

Though the entire network gets to know about the transaction right way, it only gets confirmed after a certain period of time. Confirmation is important in cryptocurrencies. One can even put in on record that cryptocurrencies entail nothing but confirmation.

As long as a transaction remains unconfirmed, it means that it is incomplete, pending and there are more chances of forgery. A confirmation sets the transaction in stone. Once a transaction is confirmed, no one can reverse or forge it because now that particular transaction has become a part of the ineradicable record of digital transactions we know as the blockchain.

Who can confirm the cryptocurrency transactions?

The task of confirmation of transactions lies with miners only. You can say that miners are the confirmation officers of the cryptocurrency network. These officers take transactions into account, stamp that they are 100% legal and then distribute them across the network. When a miner marks a transaction as confirmed, every node is required to add it to its database.

A node is a device on a blockchain network that is one of the building blocks of this technology, which allows the functioning, and survival of this system. They carry out numerous tasks and are distributed across a widespread network. The confirmed transaction then becomes part of the blockchain. The miners get a reward in the form of cryptocurrency like Bitcoins for doing their job.

The Properties of Cryptocurrency

Here are the properties of cryptocurrency:

Fast: The transactions are spread in the network immediately and get a confirmation in a few minutes. As transactions take place in a digital world, geographical boundaries don’t exist. Distance does not matter in this system, and you can send Bitcoin to someone on the other side of the world.

Disguised: The accounts and transactions by no means are linked to real-world identities. You receive the Bitcoins on so-called addresses, which are made up of a random chain of 30 characters. You can analyze the transaction flow, but cannot connect to the real-world identity of the users to whom these addresses belong.

Easy Use: There are no limitations. Anyone can use it easily and download for free. It is open to everyone. No one can prevent you from sending and receiving Bitcoins after you have installed it.

Non-reversible: You cannot reverse a transaction after confirmation. No one can. There is no way that you can reverse your action. Cryptocurrency does not involve a safety net you can fall into. You cannot insist on the bank to intervene or anyone else. If you have sent the money, it is gone. And if you have been unfortunate to have fallen for a scam and ended up transferring funds to them, there’s no turning back.

Safe: They are perfectly safe. The funds of cryptocurrency are secured in a public key cryptography system. A person who owns a private key can carry out a transaction. So, a bitcoin address is pretty strong, and the key numbers are impossible to crack into.

Final Words

The cryptocurrency market is ever-evolving. It is fast and spontaneous. Every dawn sees a new cryptocurrency emerge only to watch an old one die. The early adopters make it rich, whereas the investors lose. The way things are going, cryptocurrencies are here to stay and change the digital transaction world. All over the world, people are buying Bitcoin to keep themselves safe from the devaluation of their national currency, particularly in Asia, where a strong market of Bitcoin remittance has already emerged.

About This Cryptocurrency Guide

This guide offers the most insightful articles, educational videos, expert insights, specialist tips and best free tutorials about cryptocurrency from around the internet. The learning guide is split into four levels: introduction, basics, advanced and expert. You can learn at your own pace. Each item shows an estimated reading or watching time, allowing you to easily plan when you want to read or watch each item. Below you’ll find a table of contents that enables you to easily find a specific topic you might be interested in.

10 items | 83m read
10m read | Basics

What is Cryptocurrency?

Cryptocurrency is an internet-based medium of exchange which uses cryptographical functions to conduct financial transactions. Cryptocurrencies leverage blockchain technology to gain decentralization, transparency, and immutability.

The most important feature of a cryptocurrency is that it is not controlled by any central authority: the decentralized nature of the blockchain makes cryptocurrencies theoretically immune to the old ways of government control and interference.

Cryptocurrencies can be sent directly between two parties via the use of private and public keys. These transfers can be done with minimal processing fees, allowing users to avoid the steep fees charged by traditional financial institutions.
4m read | Basics

A Brief History On Bitcoin & Cryptocurrencies

Over 10 years before cryptocurrencies, the concept had been introduced by computer engineer Wei Dai. In 1998, he published a paper where he discussed “B-money”. He discussed the idea of a digital currency, which could be sent along a group of untraceable digital pseudonyms. That same year, another attempt by the name of Bit Gold was drafted by blockchain pioneer Nick Szabo. Bit Gold equally looked into creating a decentralized digital currency.
6m read | Basics

Understanding the Recent Cryptocurrency Rollercoaster

Bitcoin was easy to get, easy to trade, and seemed like a good option to make money as the interest in the digital coin was making the price bubble upwards. It took Bitcoin less than a year to 20x its value through 2017 – which should have been a warning sign to any cautious investor.
8m read | Basics

Differences Between Normal Currency and Cryptocurrency

Fiat currency is the money that the government of a country has established as a legal tender. On the contrary, Cryptocurrency refers to a decentralized and digital exchange medium, which uses encryption technique, to facilitate the transaction. While the issue and control of fiat currency are regulated by the central bank of the country, cryptocurrency works independently of the central bank.
5m read | Basics

The Differences Between Cryptocurrencies, Virtual, and Digital Currencies

To summarize, digital currency is the blanket term used to refer to money that exists solely in the digital space. Virtual currencies and cryptocurrencies are digital currencies because they exist online.
5m read | Basics

Making Sense of Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency and Blockchain

Blockchain is the technology that enables the existence of cryptocurrency (among other things). Bitcoin is the name of the best-known cryptocurrency, the one for which blockchain technology was invented. A cryptocurrency is a medium of exchange, such as the US dollar, but is digital and uses encryption techniques to control the creation of monetary units and to verify the transfer of funds.
14m read | Basics

What is Bitcoin?

At its simplest, Bitcoin is either virtual currency or reference to the technology. You can make transactions by check, wiring, or cash. You can also use Bitcoin (or BTC), where you refer the purchaser to your signature, which is a long line of security code encrypted with 16 distinct symbols. The purchaser decodes the code with his smartphone to get your cryptocurrency.
12m read | Basics

Types of Cryptocurrency

The blockchain brings together the three main types of cryptocurrency. Bitcoin was the first blockchain (skip to the Bitcoin section for more information on how it started and what it does). After Bitcoin, many new blockchains were created — these are called altcoins. NEO, Litecoin and Cardano are solid examples of altcoins. Finally, I must introduce you to tokens/dApps — the third main type of cryptocurrencies. Examples of these include Civic (CVC), BitDegree (BDG), and WePower (WPR).
12m read | Basics

A Simple Explanation of How Blockchain Works

Blockchain is a technology that allows individuals and companies to make instantaneous transactions on a network without any middlemen (like banks). Transactions made on blockchain are completely secure, and, by function of blockchain technology, are kept as a record of what happened. Strong computer codes ensure that no record of a transaction on blockchain can be altered after the fact.
7m read | Basics

A Guide on Sending and Receiving Cryptocurrency

If someone wants to send bitcoin, their intention is logged when they commence the transaction. Then, the nodes scan the whole bitcoin network to confirm that the bitcoin is there to send and that it hasn’t already been sent to someone else.
10 items | 56m read
6m read | Advanced

Is Owning or Trading Cryptocurrency Legal?

The fact that bitcoin can be anonymously used to execute transactions between users, anywhere around the globe, makes it extremely attractive to conduct criminal activities such as money laundering. And so, governments accuse digital currencies of being a tool for criminals to buy and sell illegal goods like drugs or weapons. Here you will find a list referring to the legal status of bitcoin by country.
2m read | Advanced

Is Bitcoin Anonymous?

Bitcoin is not entirely anonymous. In reality, it’s pseudonymous because each user has a public address that theoretically could be traced back to an IP address or exchange account (and by proxy, an actual identity) through proper network analysis.
4m read | Advanced

How Cryptocurrency Will Make the World a Better Place

Cryptocurrency may seem like a technology of the future. It has, and will, revolutionize the way we store money, pay for goods and services, and do business. Additionally, there are other ways that cryptocurrency will make the world a better place.
4m read | Advanced

How are Cryptocurrencies Valued?

The value of cryptocurrencies derives from the network upon which they are built. This is further influenced by a variety of factors, such as supply and demand. For example, there will only ever be 21 million Bitcoins, released at a steady rate, meaning inflation should not affect the value of the currency, assuming a consistent demand exists. Although such a system is not employed by all cryptocurrencies.
7m read | Advanced

How to Store Cryptocurrency Safely

A cryptocurrency wallet is a software program designed to store your public and private keys, send and receive digital currencies, monitor their balance, and interact with various blockchains. You need to have a cryptocurrency wallet to manage your crypto assets and keep them secure.
9m read | Advanced

The Most Important Cryptocurrencies Other Than Bitcoin

While bitcoin is widely seen as a pioneer in the world of cryptocurrencies, analysts adopt many approaches for evaluating tokens other than BTC. It’s common, for instance, for analysts to attribute a great deal of importance to the ranking of coins relative to one another in terms of market cap. We’ve factored this into our consideration, but there are other reasons why a digital token may be included in the list as well.
4m read | Advanced

When is the Best Time to Buy Cryptocurrency?

Similar to other markets, there’s no crystal ball that can predict the “perfect” time to buy — but dollar-cost averaging can make market volatility work in your favor.
8m read | Advanced

What is Cryptocurrency Mining?

Cryptocurrency mining is the process in which transactions between users are verified and added into the blockchain public ledger. The process of mining is also responsible for introducing new coins into the existing circulating supply and is one of the key elements that allow cryptocurrencies to work as a peer-to-peer decentralized network, without the need for a third party central authority.
8m read | Advanced

How to Sell Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency

Decided it’s time to get out of the Bitcoin craze, or just want to be prepared for when you do? In this guide, we’ll teach you how to sell Bitcoins to make sure that you’re able to walk away when you want to and get what you’re owed in return. Be aware though, that if you decide to sell at the same time as everyone else, you can run into a few problems. Fortunately, we’re here to talk you through them all, so you can make sure you sell your crypto the right way.
4m read | Advanced

What Can I Do With Cryptocurrency?

To most people, cryptocurrencies are typically thought of as high-risk investments for millennials and Silicon Valley insiders. However, what is getting somewhat lost amid the hype and speculation is that most decentralized digital currencies, such as bitcoin, were created to ‘do something’ and so have a wide range of powerful use cases.
8 items | 95m read
11m read | Expert

Cryptocurrency Security: How to Manage Your Assets

The design with highly sophisticated encryption, decentralized structure, and irreversible transactions was expected to make the system inviolable and unhackable.

However, things do not appear to follow these expectations. The system has become vulnerable to high tech criminals and even human error. The security lapses that are emerging in the blockchain sector are subjecting the digital asset owners to serious risks.
13m read | Expert

Questions Every Board Should Ask About Cryptocurrencies

The cryptocurrency space has two opinionated and well defined groups—believers and nonbelievers. To date, there has been little middle ground. However, this is quickly changing. Indeed, financial services firms are seeing increasing demand from their customers for access to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency-related products, and the capital markets also are confronting a broad set of crypto-related developments. As the space continues to develop, other organizations are exploring whether to get involved, and where to begin.
11m read | Expert

A Strategist’s Guide to Blockchain

The distributed ledger technology that started with bitcoin is rapidly becoming a crowdsourced system for all types of verification. Could it replace notary publics, manual vote recounts, and the way banks manage transactions?
12m read | Expert

Carving Up Crypto: Regulators Begin to Find Their Footing

The emergence of cryptocurrencies into the mainstream this past year came at a meteoric rate, attracting the attention of the investing public and financial institutions. As with any emerging market, regulators in the US and abroad are now playing catch up, tasked with protecting the investing public and maintaining market stability while not going so far as to stifle innovation.
12m read | Expert

Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency Trading Best Practices for Beginners

Bitcoin trading is the act of buying low and selling high. Unlike investing, which means holding Bitcoin for the long run, trading deals with trying to predict price movements by studying the industry as a whole and price graphs in particular. Successful trading requires a lot of time, money and effort before you can actually get good at it.
16m read | Expert

The Best Cryptocurrency Tools

The crypto industry is filled with people who consistently profit, and those who consistently lose. One deciding factor separating the winners from the losers is that they use the best crypto tools available in the market.
10m read | Expert

Further Reading: Best Cryptocurrency Books

Blockchain Bubble or Revolution: The Present and Future of Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies. You’ll learn the core concepts of these technologies and understand their strengths and weaknesses from real-world case studies; dive deep into their technical, economic, political, and legal complexities; and gain insights about their future from exclusive interviews with dozens of tech industry leaders.

The Basics of Bitcoins and Blockchains: An Introduction to Cryptocurrencies and the Technology that Powers Them. This book covers topics including the history of Bitcoin, the Bitcoin blockchain, and Bitcoin buying, selling, and mining. It also answers how payments are made and how transactions are kept secure. Other cryptocurrencies and cryptocurrency pricing are examined, answering how one puts a value on cryptocurrencies and digital tokens.

CRYPTOTRADING PRO: Trade for a Living with Time-tested Strategies, Tools and Risk Management Techniques, Contemporary Guide from the Beginner to the Pro. You will understand and feel where the price will go, “stay on track” knowing how to behave in every trading situation. It comes with experience, and, perhaps, only when working along with an experienced trader. You will create your own system of risk and money management, clearly understanding what part of your capital you can use to enter a position, how to exit, how to buy some more.

Cryptocurrency – A Trader’s Handbook: A Complete Guide On How To Trade Bitcoin And Altcoins. Within this book you will learn: How cryptocurrencies work, How cryptocurrencies can be used within the economy, How to conduct a fundamental analysis, How to conduct a technical analysis, How to invest confident and successful.

10m read | Expert

Further Learning: Best Cryptocurrency Courses

Cryptocurrency and Blockchain: An Introduction to Digital Currencies. You’ll learn how to define a currency, analyze the foundations of digital signatures and blockchain technology in cryptocurrency, and accurately assess the risks of cryptocurrency in a modern investment portfolio. By the end of this course, you’ll have a deep understanding of the realities of Cryptocurrency, the intricacies of Blockchain technology, and an effective strategy for incorporating Cryptocurrency into your investment plans.

Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Technologies. After this course, you’ll know everything you need to be able to separate fact from fiction when reading claims about Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. You’ll have the conceptual foundations you need to engineer secure software that interacts with the Bitcoin network. And you’ll be able to integrate ideas from Bitcoin in your own projects.

The Complete Cryptocurrency Investment Course For Beginners. By the end of our course you will know about Bitcoin, Altcoins, the blockchain, crypto wallets and exchanges. With this course you will be able to buy cryptocurrency and send it to an exchange. Taking this course you will also be able to buy and sell cryptocurrency on an exchange. After finishing this course you will know what to look for when buying into a cryptocurrency.

Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies Course by Berkeley X. Developed by Blockchain at Berkeley and faculty from UC Berkeley’s premier Computer Science department, this course presents Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies as the motivation for blockchain technologies, and provides a comprehensive and in-depth overview of the fundamental concepts of the crypto space with a particular emphasis on Bitcoin.

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