Mythbusting: How much do you really know about cryptocurrency?

9 Feb 2018

Image: Slavko Sereda/Shutterstock

From regulation to paying taxes, what are the most common misconceptions when it comes to digital currency?

Cryptocurrency can seem like a major minefield, with conflicting information circulating online about how digital currencies actually function. Many dodgy advertisements for initial coin offerings (ICOs) make wild claims about the value of investments continually soaring, neglecting to mention the volatility of the market.

Since the development of bitcoin – the first decentralised digital currency – by the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009, there has been a steady growth in interest surrounding all things cryptocurrency. At the time of writing (9 February), CoinMarketCap states that there are more than 1,500 different cryptocurrencies but, given the nature of the market, this can always change dramatically.

Many people are unsure about the protocols of buying and selling cryptocurrencies. With regulations varying wildly from country to country, it is difficult to get a straight answer on the issue, as many states are only now examining the need for regulation in their territories and, indeed, elsewhere.

Facebook recently banned all advertisements relating to cryptocurrencies from appearing on the platform. Rob Leathern, product management director of Facebook business, said the company noticed an increase in bad actors “advertising binary options, ICOs and cryptocurrencies that are not currently operating in good faith”.

With more and more people becoming interested in cryptocurrencies, CoinCentral and NowSourcing have teamed up to bust some of the myths surrounding the most popular cryptocurrencies in the world, such as bitcoin, Ethereum and Monero.

There are new altcoins launching on a daily basis at this point, but this useful infographic from CoinCentral points to the most well known of the current cryptocurrency crop.

Read on for a comparison of the various currencies’ different features, from Ethereum’s capacity for building smart contracts, to bitcoin cash’s increased transaction speed.

Click to enlarge. Infographic: CoinCentral

Ellen Tannam was a journalist with Silicon Republic, covering all manner of business and tech subjects