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Part 2: Assorted Bitcoin bits and pieces

By Dian Vujovich

I need to go back and make a correction in yesterday’s Bitcoin blog. It seems I way underestimated the size of the cryptocurrency world. Instead of Bitcoin being one of at least 10 other virtual currencies, one  source I discovered shows it’s one of nearly 200. I stand corrected.


As promised, this blog with focus on other cryptocurrencies. And while the number of them seems to be growing almost weekly, the size of each vary widely in both price and market size.


For instance,  Crypto-Currency Market Capitalizations (http://coinmarketcap.com/all.html) lists information on 198 different virtual currencies with a total market cap of almost 8 billion, as of March 29.


Not surprising, the largest is Bitcoin with a market cap of about $6.2 billion and a dollar price of $498.36. On the other hand, Number 196 is LeproCoin with a market cap of $1,300 and a price that’s a fraction of a penny: $0.00066.


Spreads like that say plenty about this virtual currency world.  In addition to growing, investors need to do plenty of research being buying into any cyptocurrency format.


Visit the Bitcoin site and under the “Getting started with Bitcoin” heading is  this tagline: “Using Bitcoin to pay and get paid is easy and accessible to everyone.”


Maybe it is. But virtual currencies come with a cost. In addition to risks and availability, transactions aren’t necessarily free.


Bitcoin’s site states that transactions may be free but  that sometimes a fee is required: “The fee, when it is required, is usually worth less than 40 US cents.”


From FeatherCoin’s site: “Payments are fast, global, and secure with near zero payment fees.”


If you’re at all like me, you’ll find that the more research done on this subject and the more cryptocurrency sites visited, the more confused this virtual world can be.


That said, StableCoin’s site was pretty straightforward in explaining it all. On the home page was this: “Welcome to the future. StableCoin is a new type of decentralized currency. It is not controlled by any nation or company. Users all over the world are able to earn StableCoins by keeping track of all the transactions occurring on the network through a process called mining. The amount of coins released each year is controlled by a set of publicly known mathematical algorithms. Unlike currencies issued by nations, no one can create StableCoins out of thin air.”


Here, from CoinMkt (https://coinmkt.com/#1) are what they consider to be the 10 most popular cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin (BTC); LiteCoin (LTC); PeerCoin (PPC); NameCoin (NMC); FeatherCoin (FTC); PrimeCoin (XPM); MegaCoin (MEC); WorldCoin (WDC); and QuarkCoin (QRK).


Putting a little perspective on this world might be as simple as looking back on how it all got started and my what’s-in-a-name theory: Mt. Gox, the hugely popular and now bankrupt Bitcoin exchange site, is short for “Magic: the Gathering Online Exchange” and it certainly feels like there’s more than a little bit of magic to this world of cryptocurrency.


Again, learn all you can before partaking or investing and check out  coinmarketcap.com/all.html for information about the 198 virtual currencies they have listed.

To read more articles, please visit the column archive.

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