How it All Started
Digital currencies were introduced to the world as early as the 1990s. The first digital currency was Bitcoin in 2009, with its own symbol and rate. Later, more and more types of cryptocurrencies were added by different agents, proving this flourishing market is here to stay. Late in 2016 their market share grew, alongside increased volatility and natural public interest. Little we knew it was only the beginning of an outburst of growth to these digital currencies, with a spike in 2017. During the first months of this impressive year, Bitcoin has more than doubled in value, Ethereum grew by 1,400% and many other currencies showed similar trends. March 2017 broke another glass ceiling for digital currencies, in which for the first time ever a cryptocurrency surpassed Gold in value.
This mega-powerful currency has not only opened the gate for other currencies, but also leads the cryptocurrency world with pride. It is governed to make sure no extra Bitcoin is produced, as a maximum quantity of 21 Million Bitcoin unites was agreed. When introduced, the price of $1 was 1,309 BTC. The wheel has turned, however, and when Bitcoin breached the $2,000 barrier in 2017, meaning 1 BTC was worth $2,000, it was certainly a meaningful milestone to Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of Bitcoin.
Ethereum is more than just a currency – it’s like one giant computer housing many computers around the globe. Ethereum can respond to sophisticated requests. Its ability to store revolutionary computer programs gives Ethereum an edge on Bitcoin and has attracted attention from banks around the world. This, among other factors, has led to a jump of almost 1000% this year!
Ripple can be described as the next generation of payment networks. Originally set up to engage financial industry leaders, the digital currency has been a leading technology so far. This cryptocurrency has exploded over the past few weeks, when in just one day Ripple advanced by 71%
The very popular cryptocurrency, Dash, has been portrayed by many as Bitcoin 2.0. This digital asset was developed to remedy some of the weaker parts of Bitcoin. Developers added new features to Dash, making it faster and more anonymous to its predecessor Bitcoin. Over the past two weeks, Dash has increased in value by over 100%!
Litecoin is similar to Bitcoin in many of its characteristics, and is also one of the more veteran cryptocurrencies out there. However, there are two main differences between Litecoin and Bitcoin; Speed and amount. While it takes 10 minutes to create a Bitcoin block, Litecoin demands roughly 2.5 minutes to create a block – meaning 4 times the speed. Moreover, Litecoin attracts many users as it can produce 4 times the quantity of Bitcoin! However, as Litecoin uses highly complex cryptography, often mining it is more complicated than other cryptocurrencies.
The Cryptocurrency Market
By the end of 2016, more than 700 digital currencies were introduced and co-existed, some doing better than others. Bearing that in mind, it came as no surprise that during 2017 the total trading volume of the digital currency market has reached $98,352,688,563. This phenomenal sum is even more astonishing when considering the simple fact that this market started only 8 years before.
A big advantage of digital currencies is that they are not tied to a specific country or bank, therefore allowing them to be liquid not only during traditional trading hours, but also throughout weekend and holidays, allowing people to trade on them 24/7*.
With all these special characteristics of this unique market, it is important to understand the reason for the shifts that occur on a regular basis in the market. Looking at the forex market, EURUSD in specific for example, it is so large that a position of $100,000,000 for example, is relatively small in this humongous market and therefore its affect would not be on a large scale. The digital currency market, on the other hand, being significantly smaller, would be greatly affected by a deal of that scale. Therefore, among other factors, this market is not only highly volatile but also experiencing drastic trends.
Trading Cryptocurrencies with AvaTrade
AvaTrade is not only a leading global broker, but also a pioneer in the digital currencies trading market. Being among the first brokers to introduce Bitcoin, and the first to add Ethereum, Ripple and Dash to its trading portfolio. AvaTrade’s clients enjoy high leverage of up to 50:1 on different cryptocurrencies, and can trade them on a variety of trading platforms.
*Under certain cryptocurrency conditions