The Next Bitcoin? Exploring Promising Cryptocurrencies – Written by James Royal, Ph.D. Written by James Royal, Ph.D.Arrow Right Senior Writer, Senior Writer and Editor for Investments and Wealth Management James F. Royal, Ph.D., covers investments and wealth management. His work has been cited by CNBC, The Washington Post, The New York Times and others. Contact James Royal, Ph.D. on Twitter Twitter Connect with James Royal, Ph.D. on LinkedIn Linkedin Connect with James Royal, Ph.D. by email Email James Royal, Ph.D.
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The Next Bitcoin? Exploring Promising Cryptocurrencies
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Over the last decade, the cryptocurrency went from an obscure asset to an extremely popular investment before plummeting amid rising interest rates. Cryptocurrencies are a form of digital currency secured by cryptography and computer networks. These currencies are not monitored by traditional central institutions such as a government or a bank, and transactions are carried out while maintaining the partial anonymity of buyers and sellers.
The way cryptocurrencies work can sometimes be complex. Below is an easy-to-follow guide with the most important things you should know about digital currencies and new developments in the crypto market.
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It represents the equity in the underlying asset, typically the stock of a real company or the equity of a property. The conditions are recorded on the blockchain. Very similar to owning traditional stocks, the main difference is being recorded on a blockchain versus a database or paper certificate as is the case with traditional stocks. Voting rights for these tokens are also issued via blockchain.
Tesla and PayPal are just two examples of companies that can be purchased as common stock and as blockchain token stock.
Utility tokens are used to raise funds for new cryptocurrency projects. Utility tokens typically serve a specific purpose for their developer, often raising capital, but can also provide access to products or services. It is not considered ownership of an asset such as an equity token.
Basic Attention Token (BAT) is used for payments in publishing systems. Golem (GNT) offers users the opportunity to rent computing power systems.
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These tokens, also called “native” or “embedded” tokens, are digital forms of currency and have intrinsic value only to the extent that the market values them. They represent nothing, they simply exist as currency.
Asset-backed tokens are the digital equivalent of IOUs. These tokens are backed by an underlying asset, such as something physical like gold, paper money, art, or gemstones. Users can claim the underlying asset from a specific issuer by sending the issuer’s token.
Any real, physical asset can be converted into an asset-backed token. Commodities such as gold, crude oil and soybeans are often used.
Although cryptocurrencies have created a new alternative payment method, the production of cryptocurrencies is controversial due to the energy required to produce them.
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Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are “mined” on decentralized computer networks that act as a large ledger. This ledger tracks every cryptocurrency transaction, and computers across the network verify and process each transaction via a blockchain database.
Think of it as a long receipt that records every transaction in a cryptocurrency. As transactions are processed and verified, new Bitcoins are created or mined. Mining involves adding another entry on the receipt or another block to the chain.
This process requires powerful and sophisticated computers – and a lot of electricity. Citing the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index, Columbia University says that as of August 2023, Bitcoin alone consumed about 136 terawatt-hours of electricity annually – more than Ukraine and Pakistan.
According to the Cambridge Index, Bitcoin mining uses so much electricity that it accounted for 0.61% of global electricity consumption in August 2023. According to the Cambridge Index, Bitcoin mining alone produces an estimated 68.8 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year, comparable to Singapore’s emissions.
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When cryptocurrencies were first created, they were nearly impossible for state tax authorities to track. The hallmark of blockchain transactions is anonymity, meaning that the identity of the buyer or seller cannot be proven.
In 2014, the IRS declared that cryptocurrencies should be treated as property for federal income tax purposes. Although the agency itself has not yet released official estimates, an analysis by Barclays Bank shows that the IRS loses about $50 billion annually in taxes that would have to be paid on cryptocurrency assets.
Purchasing and owning cryptocurrencies is not considered a taxable transaction. You can buy cryptocurrencies and hold them for as long as you want, although you must report this on your tax return. However, once you decide to sell (or realize the profit or loss), you must declare the amount of profit or loss on the sale.
The popularity of cryptocurrencies has increased in recent years as access to cryptocurrencies has become easier. The asset is still incredibly volatile, and in 2022, rising interest rates caused Bitcoin to sell off as disgruntled investors were forced to dump speculative assets. Bitcoin has recovered somewhat in 2023 but is still at an all-time high.
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The volatility of major cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin makes them difficult, if not impossible, to use as currencies. Major currencies must be largely stable in order to function as a medium of exchange. So the idea that cryptocurrencies can be both trading instruments for profits and functional currencies
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