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Ethereum vs. Bitcoin and more of your cryptocurrency questions answered

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If you bought $100 worth of Bitcoin in 2010 (when the price was $0.0025), you’d be able to cash out to the tune of $85,710,400.00 (as of press time, at least).

But the world of cryptocurrency isn’t a simple cash grab – just yesterday many virtual coins suffered massive slumps in valuation.

Learn everything you need to get started with Bitcoin, Etherum, Dogecoin, Trollcoin and more right here.

Get Smart

As with any investment, it’s best to arm yourself with as much knowledge as possible before throwing your hard-earned cash at it. These are volatile and experimental currencies that many observers believe are in the midst of a valuation bubble.

Even then, your cryptocurrency is not immune from more old-school methods of loss – like robbery. In 2016, a Bonnie and Crypto-Clyde managed to steal 120,000 bitcoins from Hong Kong’s Bitfinex exchange – worth approximately $72 million at the time.

And sometime this week, a hacker stole approximately $7.4 million dollars-worth of ethereum.

Get a Digital Wallet

Those security breaches mean that you’ll want to choose your crypto storage platform very carefully. Crypto wallets are not FDIC-insured, nor do they offer much recourse for users who find their accounts have been hacked.

Coinbase is the most popular digital wallet, supporting the purchase and trade of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin. According to the company they’ve exchanged more than $20 billion in digital currency.

It’s also good to have a hardware-based backup of your digital wallet, in case those online wallets are compromised somehow. Ledger is a popular, and well-reviewed choice.

If you’d rather not link your bank account to your cryptocurrency purchase, platforms such as LocalBitcoins allow you to buy bitcoin in a face-to-face

Bitcoin vs. Ethereum: Choose Your Currency

In the last two years, not only has the value of cryptocurrency skyrocketed, but so has the number of options offered to consumers.

If you want to get a sense of just how big the marketplace is, head over to 500 Coins to check out a constantly updated list of the top 500 cryptocurrencies currently being traded.

Bitcoin has a finite number of possible coins that are issued (21 million) and 80% of all bitcoins have already been mined by high-powered computers. Typical transactions require at least 8 minutes to complete because of the number of computations that are involved.

Technically, Ethereum is a cryptocurrency platform and not a digital coin in and of itself. There is no limit to the number of ethererum coins that can be mined, which promises a more equitable distribution of the currency, not favoring early-adopters.

Or Start Mining Ethereum

This option requires far more technical expertise than the simple transactional-based platforms, but there’s one massive advantage – aside from the associated costs of electricity, hardware, and time, mining for crypto is free. Vice’s Motherboard has a great introduction to anyone who’s interested in getting started.

Spend Your Crypto

You may want to treat your digital wallet as a savings account of sorts, or you might want to use it as you would any other currency – spend.

Naturally there are a lot of nefarious outlets for the crypto-rich, but a surprising number of retailers also accept the currency. This list of companies accepting Bitcoin payment includes everyone from The Gap to LOT Polish Airlines.

Finally, if you want to keep up with all the crypto news you can handle, 99Bitcoins is a great place to start.

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