(Mountain View, CA, Thursday, August 23, 2018) - Bitcoin, cryptocurrency, blockchain technology â€“ weâ€™ve heard these terms in the news recently, but what do they mean, what are they used for, and how are they relevant to your average person?
Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency. As such, it can be used like any currency (e.g. U.S. dollars or gold) as an investment, as a store of value, to make payments, and to send or receive money.
With recent news of cryptocurrency hacking, itâ€™s important that we learn how to safely manage this currency and protect ourselves from fraud.
Cryptocurrencies are not just for millennials either. A lot of retirees and older Americans are delving into using them.
Bitcoin was the first massively-adopted cryptocurrency. Soon after, forks of Bitcoin, or different variations of the underlying open-source blockchain, were created for other purposes.
Litecoin, for example, which is one popular cryptocurrency, was created as a fork of the Bitcoin blockchain. Litecoin was designed to process transactions faster than bitcoin by making use of a different hashing algorithm. The original version of Bitcoin was modified into other forms of cryptocurrency too. Other cryptocurrencies were created in a similar way, optimizing for privacy, or for other attributes.
So thatâ€™s where the word altcoin first came from. In the early days of crypto, many of the available coins were viewed as alternatives to Bitcoinâ€™s main network.
But the story doesnâ€™t end there. Today, there are more than 1,600 different cryptocurrencies available being traded in more than 11,000 different markets. As the size of the cryptocurrency market continues to grow, so does the number of altcoins.
Abra is a digital wallet that supports over 25 cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin. Users can exchange across any currency with no deposit or exchange transaction fees, at any time with no limitations. Abra is noncustodial, which means your funds are all yours - stored directly on your phone - and not stored on a third-party server. It essentially transforms your phone into your bank, and you are the only one with the key to access your money.