You should have a general understanding of what a cryptocurrency is because knowing the functional use of a coin can give you an edge when deciding your investments. There are hundreds of coins ranging from major players like Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH), to smaller coins that we refer to as “altcoins.” Each coin is unique and offers their own flunctional use cases. If you’re feeling unclear about what a cryptocurrency is, check out some of the resources below. They give great explanations of Bitcoin and Ethereum, and blockchain, the underlying technology of which cryptocurrencies are built upon.
Bitcoin is different than any currency you’ve used before, so it’s very important to understand some key points. You can use them to send or receive any amount of money, with anyone, anywhere in the world, at very low cost. Bitcoin payments are impossible to block, and bitcoin wallets can’t be frozen. Actually, the Bitcoin network is unstoppable and un-censorable.
Investing in any currency is an activity that, roughly speaking, can be done in two ways: the speculative, by means of short sales (buying and selling currencies several times in one day depending on the possibilities of the price going up or down), Or by developing a medium- or long-term investment scheme (i.e buying currencies and saving them for a longer period to sell them when appropriate).
Always pay attention to Bitcoin. Most altcoins (every cryptocurrency except Bitcoin) are pegged more closely to Bitcoin than Asian currencies were to the USD during the Asian Financial Crisis. If Bitcoin price pump drastically, altcoins price can go down as people try to exit altcoins to ride the BTC profits; inversely, if Bitcoin prices dump drastically, altcoin prices can go down, too, as people exit altcoins to exchange back into fiat. The best times for altcoin growth appear when Bitcoin shows organic growth or decline, or remains stagnant in price.