That being said, it isn’t perfect. One of the most pressing issues for the cryptocurrency has always been its scalability. More specifically, it’s been the size of a block of transactions, which upon the creation of Bitcoin was limited to one MB. This limit causes substantial delays in transaction processing times and limits the number of transactions the network can process.

CoinGeek owner (and online gambling tycoon) Calvin Ayre is probably also the most well-known individual supporting the Bitcoin SV hard fork — besides Craig Steven Wright, of course. Most “big name” Bitcoin Cash proponents instead appear supportive of the Bitcoin ABC hard fork — or at least dismissive of Wright and Bitcoin SV. This includes CEO Roger Ver, Bitmain co-founder Jihan Wu, Pirate Party founder Rick Falkvinge, Cornell professor Emin Gün Sirer, but also Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin and others.

Today Bitcoin (BTC) 00 got nuked. In fact, the entire cryptocurrency market took a direct hit from a 50 megaton hydrogen bomb — and it looks like it’ll take a while for the smoke to clear. Novogratz was wrong, Tom Lee was wrong, everyone who thought $6,000 was the bottom was wrong. Analysts will probably spend the rest of the week attempting to determine the sources responsible for the turmoil.

As the legend goes, in 2008 an anonymous developer published a white paper under the fake name Satoshi Nakamoto. The author was evidently a software and math person. But the paper also has some in-built ideology: the assumption that giving national governments the ability to monitor flows of money in the financial system and use it as a form of law enforcement is wrong.

A ledger is a database technology used to record transaction histories and ownership; it is a definitive account of who has given what to who, and who owns what. Most ledger technologies are physical and they’re centralized -- they’re controlled by a central bank.  This means that they are subject to the discretion and power of individuals, and are alterable and impermanent. This gives those ledger recording entities a tremendous amount of power over an individual’s financial transactions; it also means the ledger is vulnerable to manipulation.

Litecoin was developed in 2011. While it has faltered of late in value with the other cryptocurrencies, if it gains back that value, it will be because of its strengths in comparison to bitcoin: Significantly faster transaction time (one major complaint when bitcoin exploded was that the increase in users slowed down transactions tremendously) and a larger number of crypto tokens.

If you’re aware of the risks and still willing to take the plunge, this is what you need to know about investing in bitcoin: Cryptocurrencies exist in an unregulated, decentralized digital sphere without involvement by (or protection via) a central bank. This is part of bitcoin’s appeal. People or entities can buy and sell cryptocurrency anonymously, and there are fewer middlemen taking a cut of transactions. But it also means you can’t just buy bitcoin via mainstream investing tools like a brokerage account.
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