What is Crypto Currency?
The first cryptocurrency was Bitcoin. Bitcoin was created in 2009 by a pseudonymous developer named Satoshi Nakamoto. Bitcoin uses SHA-256, which is a set of cryptographic hash functions designed by the U.S National Security Agency. Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency that is based on the proof-of-work system.
A cryptocurrency is a medium of exchange like normal currencies such as USD, but designed for the purpose of exchanging digital information through a process made possible by certain principles of cryptography. Cryptography is used to secure the transactions and to control the creation of new coins.
Put another way, cryptocurrency is electricity converted into lines of code with monetary value. In the simplest of forms, cryptocurrency is digital currency.
Crypto Currency Trading
Cryptocurrency trading, which until recently has been mostly centered on bitcoin, has gained momentum in recent years. Since Feb 2011, when bitcoin stood at parity with the US dollar, bitcoin has risen to where it is trading now some six years later at prices between $1,200 and $1,425. The reasons behind bitcoin’s success are many.
Coupled with its decentralized nature which protects it from all good and bad government policies; bitcoin is beginning to be seen as a viable alternative in certain countries where hyperinflation or lack of confidence in government has rendered the local currency a less attractive alternative. Bitcoin is also becoming easier to manage, simpler to use, safer than carrying paper money and cheap enough to transact and carry, without needing an intermediary.
Despite the last 6 month’s remarkable price increase, bitcoin as an asset class has its share of ills, including periods of extreme market volatility. Bitcoin’s limited supply coupled with the inability of governments to intervene to counteract market forces means that bitcoin reacts quickly to market bias. Take for example, the very recent bitcoin ETF buzz: bitcoin’s price trended northward comfortably ahead of the SEC’s ETF ruling amid growing optimism, hitting a peak of $1,327 a coin. But after the SEC shot down both the Gemini and SolidX bitcoin ETF projects, the price nosedived 20% before rallying within the month back to similar levels.
In addition, shorter-term fluctuations can be seen if one looks at intraday bitcoin charts. On an average BTC/USD chart, bitcoin’s value fluctuates between 10 and 15 USD every 4 hours and sometimes quite a bit higher. For many investors, such fluctuations make bitcoin an uncomfortable investment choice. However, there are day traders who use this volatility to take tidy profits out of the market on a daily basis. These are the traders who are fixed, glued to their computer monitors and mobile screens all day long, tracking the market to enter and exit positions.
So we return to the original question: “Can a market as young and volatile as cryptocurrency be successfully partnered with Artificial Intelligence to produce a profitable outcome?”
With market capitalizations in the low millions up to low billions, cryptocurrency markets present too small an opportunity to interest most trading banks and hedge funds. They use the power of their deep pockets coupled with AI to generate massive profits from high-frequency trading where a few millisecond advantage over competitors can generate big returns.
Crypto Currencies & Market Capitalization
Bitcoin is the largest cryptocurrency in both market capitalization, volume, acceptance and notoriety, but it’s not the most valuable coin. NEMstake, while only having a market cap of $1,116,720, trades at $1,117 a coin. Looking at the market cap, Litecoin takes second place after Bitcoin with Ripple close behind.
One coin that you are more than likely familiar with is Dogecoin. Dogecoin ranks, on average, thirds in trading volume, but has a relatively low market cap – ranking number six in the largest cryptocurrency.
Crypto Currency Hash?
Cryptocurrency mining power is rated on a scale of hashes per seconds. A rig with a computing power of 1kH/s is mining at a rate of 1,000 hashes a second, 1MH/s is a million hashes per second and a GH/s is one billion hashes per second. Every time a miner successfully solves a block, a new hash is created. A hash algorithm turns this large amount of data into a fixed-length hash. Like a code if you know the algorithm you can solve a hash and get the original data out, but to the ordinary eye it’s just a bunch of numbers crammed together and remains practically impossible to get the original data out of.
The security of cryptocurrencies is two part. The first part comes from the difficulty in finding hash set intersections, a task done by miners. The second and more likely of the two cases is a “51%” attack“. In this scenario, a miner who has the mining power of more than 51% of the network, can take control of the global blockchain ledger and generate an alternative block-chain. Even at this point the attacker is limited to what he can do. The attacker could reverse his own transactions or block other transactions.
Cryptocurrencies are also less susceptible to seizure by law enforcement or having transaction holds placed on them from acquirers such as Paypal. All cryptocurrencies are pseudo-anonymous, and some coins have added features to create true anonymity.