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Crypto – Currencies, Broken down

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Recently there has been a lot of talk about bitcoin, litecoin, peercoin. In the media as of late. Like most things it has been portrayed in a ridiculous way and very rarely describes what they actually are. So with that in mind I have broken it down and explained all.

Despite the name and the media classification all of these actually have their own differences, aside from the name the easiest way to think about these different cyber coins or “crypto-currencies” in the technical term.

Bitcoin is easier to think of as something with a finite number like a mineral or similar commodity traded on the stock and share markets. To be exact there are approx 21 million bitcoins to be mined over the next 126 years. These technically speaking are a reward for processing mathematical calculations with high end computers or beyond that for ASIC Cards.

Litecoin is again best thought of as a commodity but the main differences between lite and bit coin are as follows, litecoin is ASIC resistant meaning that there is no specialised, or obscenely priced, hardware available for mining this, essentially swaying favour towards the common user. It also has a finite limit but this is roughly 84 million around 4 times as many as bit coin.

It is worth noting that both of these currency’s are internationally recognised as commodity’s on stock and trading markets and so their respective values fluctuate with the passing of every block (the limit to how many can be mined in any given period of time BC-10 mins LC – 2.5 mins)

Please be aware that although feeding the technological revolution and the peer to peer movements we all love so much, it does have a darker side, Crime does operate around this, an example is a encryption virus called How_Decrypt, a nasty piece of malware that hits a central file store and encrypts EVERYTHING, it then gives you a ransom, a number of days to cough up so many bitcoins or litecoins to then receive the encryption key.

Hope this article has helped you understand a bit more about technological trading.

Sam Cave is a Systems Engineer, avid gamer, open source enthusiast,