What is cryptocurrency?
Investopedia defines cryptocurrency as a digital or virtual currency secured by cryptography, making it almost impossible to counterfeit or double spend.
Cryptocurrencies have been around for quite some time now and some of these terms like crypto and bitcoin are not always so easy to understand, one would usually have to do some research to grasp what they are and why they exist.
When Bitcoin launched, it launched as the promise of a new revolution in payment. In other words, a new way for people to exchange money digitally without the need of a third party, (A bank or the government). In this new revolution, payments could be processed instantaneously rather than over several days. Plus Bitcoin transactions had the added bonus that they’re cheaper than bank transactions and more importantly, secure.
You are probably asking the same question we did, don’t we already have digital money?
The answer is yes. Today, people all over the world use debit and credit cards, bank transfers, payment apps, and many other forms of electronic payment.
However, here is when everything changes. The real difference between the regular currency we know and the new digital currency we are trying to learn about. A digital currency does not have a physical form. You will never be able to hold an actual Bitcoin in your hand, in contrast to withdrawing euros from your bank account and putting them in your wallet.
Now comes the tricky part when understanding how to work with tokens.
Something we must always remember is that cryptocurrencies will always be digital.
The idea is that crypto exists and works outside of banks and financial constitutions, that you can do everything related to crypto without the worry of having to go to or deal with a bank. So forget the waiting times, exchange fees, and additional costs that come with traditional bank transactions.
Another factor that makes crypto successful is the time that it takes for payment to be reflected from one wallet to another. It takes seconds, unlike bank transfers where you have to wait until the next day, or even weeks.
There are many more coins than just Bitcoin, here are 8 coins faster than Bitcoin.
Since speed is one of the limiting factors for Bitcoin, it isn’t surprising that newer payment cryptocurrencies aim to be faster. In fact, at around 7 transactions per second (TPS), Bitcoin is one of the slowest cryptocurrencies. To provide some context: Visa says it can process around 1,700 TPS.
Here’s how other coins stack up.
- Ethereum (ETH): 25 TPS
The first cryptocurrency to use smart contracts. Ethereum’s network is used by many other cryptocurrencies and applications.
- Zcash (ZEC): 27 TPS
Zcash is a digital currency that prioritizes privacy. It is accepted by various third-party payment providers and advertises itself as a good way to pay family and friends.
- Dash (DASH): 35 TPS
This digital currency became popular as a cash alternative in Venezuela during the country’s economic crisis. The Dash app works on various devices and has ATMs around the world.
- Litecoin (LTC): 56 TPS
Litecoin launched in 2011. It has four times as many total available coins as Bitcoin and finalizes transactions four times faster. Interestingly, its open-source software was the basis for the popular meme-currency Dogecoin.
- Bitcoin Cash (BCH): 300 TPS
Launched in 2017 as a way to facilitate smaller, faster payments, it is a fork of Bitcoin. That means it branched off from the original code, but the basic workings are very similar.
- Monero (XMR): Up to 1,000 TPS
Monero is a privacy-focused blockchain and payment system. It prioritizes anonymity by disguising the wallet addresses of network users.
- Ripple (XRP): 1,500 TPS
Ripple is an international payment system that ranks in the top 10 cryptos. However, it’s been hampered by an ongoing SEC lawsuit focused on whether its cryptocurrency should have been sold as a security.
- Solana (SOL) 29,000 TPS
Solana is built for speed. It’s more than digital payment crypto, as it’s also a platform where developers can build apps. It has been criticized for sacrificing security in the interest of speed.
Lastly, here are three examples of companies that you have probably heard about, that use blockchain transactions in their day-to-day business.
Walmart has been a blockchain enthusiast for a very long time. In reality, the company is using IBM’s supply chain technology – the Hyperledger Fabric platform to back up its supply chain process. Moreover, they also plan to track their foods right from their farmers and offer their customers to check the provenance before they buy an item.
Anheuser Busch InBev
Anheuser Busch InBev is one of the largest brewer companies using blockchain in the supply chain. Along with BanQu, they want to increase the overall transparency of their systems. Anyhow, it will actually trace and increase the transparency of their Cassava crop chain. Thus, it will also empower over 2000 farmers in Zambia.
Ford is another popular company that is using unique technology. In reality, IBM is working with them, and together they plan to track its raw materials like cobalt from the suppliers. They want to ensure that they are getting an authentic product to maintain their quality. As soon the cobalt is mined, it will get on the ledger, and Ford can track where it’s going from there.
Is it only a matter of time before we see the blockchain and crypto payments being incorporated into the supply chain and logistics businesses? At TrustedTrucks we’re pretty confident of that happening soon and the companies that take advantage of it will reap its rewards.
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