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98 of the top 100 cryptocurrencies have badly dropped within the 24 hours and once again we’re seeing a day in the red for the cryptocurrency markets. The price of Bitcoin headlined the retreat by seeing an 80-day low decline, and other top coins have also fared quite poorly. The cryptocurrency market cap has declined by more than $60 billion and is currently valued at $292 billion, which represents a single-day reduction in the price of all cryptocurrencies.

Bitcoin Price Falls Below $7000:

The decline has reduced the price of Bitcoin by almost 23% and has brought the most leading cryptocurrency to an 80-day low. The price of Bitcoin is currently trading at $6,307, with the market cap of $106 billion only.

Fintech platforms like Square’s Cash App and Robinhood Crypto will probably play an important role in the coming time. Robinhood’s cryptocurrency trading platform could literally see a speed in its recovery real soon. Plus, other financial institutions are also trying to ban their customers from using their credit cards to buy these cryptocurrencies.

Cryptocurrency Market Cap

Ethereum Price Drops Below $700:

Well, many investors believed that the downturn in the cryptocurrency market would provide an opportunity to Ethereum for finally becoming the largest cryptocurrency and surpassing the Bitcoin’s price. But it didn’t go so well in that case because the price of Ethereum also got largely tracked with the Bitcoin’s decline.

The price of Ethereum dropped below the $700 mark today and is currently trading at $618 with the market cap of $43 billion, which clearly shows a single-day decline of 27%.

 Drop in The Altcoin Markets:

Overall altcoins declined worse than the Bitcoin, which represents that diversifying into the altcoins won’t essentially provide the investors with a hedge against the declines in the major cryptocurrencies market. Both, the price of Bitcoin Cash and the price of Ripple has declined by more than 20%, which reduces the 3rd and 4th largest cryptocurrencies to the current values of $0.62 and $820, respectively.

Number 5th cryptocurrency in the ranking, Cardano, showed the worst performance as compared to any top 10 cryptocurrencies, as it has dropped by 23% and is currently valued at $0.28. Meanwhile, Litecoin and EOS have returned single-day declines of 24% and 27% respectively.

Stellar, which is ranked on number 8th has seen a decline of 25% today, which demonstrates the austerity of this downturn. NEO and NEM have finished out the top 10 with the declines of 34% and 24%, reducing their prices to $71 and $0.40.

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What Is the Difference Between Bitcoin and Litecoin?

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Bitcoin was launched in 2009 by a programmer called Satoshi Nakamoto. Bitcoin is world’s first cryptocurrency.  The code of Bitcoin is open source, which means it can be modified by anyone and freely used for other projects.

Since the launch of Bitcoin, numerous cryptocurrencies have been released with slight modifications in Bitcoin’s code, however, none has been able to dethrone Bitcoin from the top spot. One that comes the closest is Litecoin.

Litecoin was launched in 2011 with the objective of being the “silver” to Bitcoin’s ‘gold’. At the time of writing, Litecoin has the most noteworthy market value amongst other cryptocurrencies, only lagging behind the Bitcoin.

In this article, we put light on the essential differences between Bitcoin and Litecoin.

Major Differences Between Bitcoin and Litecoin:

  • The coin limit of bitcoin is 21 million while the Litecoin’s limit is 84 million.
  • The block reward of Bitcoin is halved every 210,000 blocks. On the other hand, Litecoin reward is halved every 840,000 blocks.
  • Initial reward: 50 BTC in Bitcoin, 50 LTC in Litecoin.
  • Mean block time: 10 minutes in Bitcoin, 2.5 minutes in Litecoin.
  • Difficulty target: 2016 blocks in Bitcoin, 2016 blocks in Litecoin.
  • Algorithm used: SHA-256 in Bitcoin, “Scrypt” in Litecoin.
  • Block explorer: “blockchain.info” for Bitcoin while “block-explorer.com” for Litecoin.
  • Creator: Satoshi Nakatomo (Bitcoin), and Charles Lee of Litecoin.
  • Bitcoin was created on January, 3rd, 2009 while the creation date of Litecoin is October 7th, 2011.
  • Market cap: $10,467,596,650.78 (Bitcoin) and $540,274,528.26 for Litecoin.

Mining Differences Between The Two Currencies:

Just like Bitcoin, Litecoin is also a cryptocurrency generated through a process called mining. However, mining for both the currencies is done in a different way. The major mining differences between Bitcoin and Litecoin are as follows:

  • A Litecoin block takes 2.5 minutes to generate while the same block in Bitcoin takes up to 10 minutes.
  • The algorithm used in Bitcoin is SHA-256, which helps accelerate calculations in parallel processing. Due to this characteristic, the race in ASIC technology has become extremely intense, which also results in the increased bitcoin difficulty levels. On the other hand, Litecoin uses the “Scrypt” algorithm. The calculations in this algorithm are much more serialized as compared to the calculations in SHA-256.
  • At the time of writing, the total hashing rate of Litecoin is just 95,642Terra Hashes per second, while the Bitcoin hashing is around 20,000 Mega Hashes per second.

Differences in Transaction:

The major difference between Bitcoin and Litecoin is the transaction time.

  • Bitcoin transaction confirmations are relatively slow, while Litecoin has the ability to handle a higher volume of transactions, thanks to its higher volume of blocks.
  • A downside of having a higher volume of blocks is that it increases the size of Litecoin’s Blockchain, which results in more orphaned blocks.
  • Faster Litecoin transactions mean reduced risk of double spending.
  • For two Litecoin confirmations, you will only need to sit tight for 5 minutes, while in Bitcoin, you are supposed to wait for 20 minutes for a similar number of confirmations.

A large number of people involved in Bitcoin often tout transaction and confirmation speed as moot points as the confirmations given by most merchants are zero for most purchases.

One thing to remember here is that all transactions are instant, it is just the network that takes the time to confirm it as it propagates.

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Bitcoin Explained

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Bitcoin

Following the uncertainty of the current world and its unstable economy where currencies face great flux every day, a new economy was introduced under the alias Satoshi Nakamoto. Under the worlds infinite disarray, Bitcoin emerged as a decentralized and a digital cash system with regulated by almost no one.

This peer-to-peer networking system runs through electronic signatures and crypto graphics to generate currency- Bitcoins. Bitcoins are not only a form of currency but also a form of investment for some investors who keep these coins in hopes of an increase in their value and enjoy the opportunity cost.

Mining

Just like normal everyday cash, this currency doesn’t have to be printed and issued by the federals or the central banks. Bitcoins are generated through a process called ‘mining’. These coins are mined out of the system by giving complex and advanced mathematical problems for your computer to solve. The target is to generate a 64-digit number as an answer to that puzzle. When a system solves the given complex algorithm, it obtains a specific fraction of Bitcoins every time.

The bitcoin network automatically sets the difficulty level of the mine to be mine next. On average, there are around 25 Bitcoins mined every 10 minutes. During the process, only a set number of Bitcoins can be mined during a certain period. After every four years, this reward is halved. Currently, it is up to 12.5 Bitcoins for every mathematical problem solved.

Limited Supply

Fiat currencies have an unlimited supply and their value can be easily manipulated anytime by the regulatory bodies. Given its independent nature, Bitcoin has tightly restricted supply controlled by the underlying algorithm of the system. There is a set number of coins that can ever be mined ever. A total number of 21 million bitcoins exist in the system.

Bitcoin at its peak has managed to engage the market by over 2 million dollars. The lowest has been $2. Today the value roughly swifts around $9,000.

No economy supports the sudden fluctuations in the system. Too much too fast will result in the dropping of the value of the currency. Too much too slow will cause the economy to halt. Due to these reasons, Bitcoin has a self-stabilizing system to regulate the economy at the most favorable grounds.

Exchangers allow the holders to transfer and buy or sell these Bitcoin crypto coins among other users. One of the famous platforms is Bitstamp. This allows users to buy Bitcoins in fiat currency and also enables them to sell them to other potential users. Bitstamp enables users to store the coins too as e-wallets. But beware of the hackers, as they can dangerously destabilize these digital economies.

With the gradual growing influence of these cryptocurrencies in the world today, a lot of applications and platforms have shown loyalty to the Bitcoin. Platforms like WikiLeaks and WordPress have started accepting bitcoins as means of their payments and transaction currency.

MintChip

Inspired by the Bitcoin, the Canadian government has launched a similar cryptocurrency named, MintChip. This electronic currency is backed by the government, unlike the Bitcoin.

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UNDERSTANDING BITCOIN – Recap

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We’re well aware that Bitcoin is an entirely digital currency that lets its users trade money without the involvement of any third-party authority (such as bank, government etc.).  Also, these trades are made anonymously, that means no personal information is given out or even required for a transaction.

Out of the many perks of Bitcoin, two happen to stand out the most:

Instant Transactions:

  • With Bitcoin, you can exchange money almost instantly with anyone anywhere in the world (but do check if Bitcoin is banned in that country or not). You don’t require a bank account, just a Bitcoin wallet that could be installed on your smartphone, tab, computer etc.

Anonymity:

  • You aren’t required to mention any personal details which reduce or eliminates the risk of identity theft.

Bitcoin Mining & Blockchain:

For understanding Bitcoin, one must understand how Bitcoin mining works. It is the process behind the creation of bitcoins. During this process, complex mathematical equations are solved by mining hardware in order to verify and generate a block. Every time a transaction takes place, it is tracked digitally by computers in a record, where all transaction details are described.

Bitcoin miners are the people who own those computers and confirm transactions. Moreover, they’re also paid in bitcoins and sometimes even paid a fee for the transactions. Since there’s no involvement of a central authority, miners ensure whether the right amount has been transferred and each member has the right balance after the transaction is completed.

These transactions are shared onto a public ledger, also known as, the Blockchain, which can be accessed by anyone. Every transaction that ever took place is mentioned here along with the Bitcoin address linked to it.

Bitcoin Wallet:

Now you must be wondering, what’s a Bitcoin address?

Let me help you. In order to own bitcoin(s), one must have a Bitcoin wallet. You can get all sorts of wallets, hardware, and software. Install one on your phone, computer or just purchase a physical one. After you’ve got your personal wallet, the next step is generating a bitcoin wallet address and a private key. This is the address you’re going to share with everyone, whenever you want to make a purchase or transaction. Whereas, a private key is meant to be a secret as it basically holds the key to your coins, if you lose your private key, you lose everything.

Remember! Every transaction generates a new Bitcoin address and this is the reason for its anonymity. No one can actually trace the transaction back to you since it’s always a different address.

 

While Bitcoin has major advantages compared to fiat currency, it’d only seem fair if the drawbacks are pointed out as well.

  • The Bitcoin network is also vulnerable to hackers and viruses. Remember, you cannot enter any personal details on a site promising to give out free bitcoins.
  • Bitcoin is highly volatile, which means that its price is constantly fluctuating.
  • Another drawback is that there are only 21 million bitcoins available. So nobody knows what’s going to happen once it reaches that limit.
  • If you lose your wallet, those coins are gone forever, unless you’ve created a backup of it.
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