Individually, cryptos solve a variety of real world problems, that often can appear to replicate what already exists, such as currencies, platforms, data storage, games, and graphic manipulation. But its not the individual applications that are important with cryptos. What is important now is HOW these problems are solved with cryptos, which makes all the difference.
Collectively, cryptos have some features in common (mostly). Together, they share these features: Security; Transparency; Immutability; Accessibility; Speed; Value
Currently, the global community relies pretty heavily on central management. In fact, we have been pushed very heavily towards it, and we have used technology to achieve it. If you have a home wi-fi network, a business network, or you store anything in "the cloud", then you are already familiar with how centralisation can be of enormous benefit to us all. This centralisation has also been applied to currencies, bonds, securities and title deeds. However, this centralisation does not prevent a central bank from changing the money supply, the government losing records (or purposely changing them) or prevent records from damage through flood, fire or digital loss, even if measures have been taken to prevent these exact things. Essentially, centralisation gives a single person, body, or corporate total control over the information, and thus over its use.
Cryptos, however, are decentralised. This does not mean 'no longer controlled' instead it means 'controlled by all and by none'. This is true because a record does not exist in one place, it exists in hundreds or even thousands of locations. This is of benefit if the network faces a malicious attack. The attack must simultaneously compromise (in the case of Bitcoin) 51% of the network in order to be successful. The sheer computing power, and resources that would be required to achieve this would well outweigh the benefit of being successful, and would be well outside the resources of any potential attacker.
Most (but not all) cryptos are open source. This means that anyone can look at the source code of the crypto, and if you understood programming language, you could confirm the the code is executing in ways that are expected. This makes it possible to trust the system of the crypto (rather than having to trust a person) as the crypto will always act in an expected way. In practice, other programmers check source codes and report back their findings. This is like a review system for cryptos, the bad ones are quickly revealed, so there is strong incentive for developers to good, non-malicious code.
In addition, every transaction ever created can be viewed in an explorer, making the execution of the crypto transparent also.
This is just a fancy word for unchanging and most importantly unchangeable. Security and Transparency make this possible. It is practically impossible to change the transaction history, and transactions are fully verifiable, so trusting the transaction took place as expected is easy. Essentially, baring a complete collapse of the crypto network, the transactions are fully immutable.
As long as you have internet access, you have access to the crypto network. This makes cryptos globally accessible and equally accessible to all nations, provided the internet connection is available.
Transfers between banks, across long distances or between countries can vary in time from a few hours to a few days. Cryptos transaction times range from immediate to one hour (depending on the crypto used). This is regardless of the physical distance the transaction must travel.
As there is no need to change currencies when transactions move from country to country, there is also no loss of value. One coin is worth one coin regardless of its physical location, or the country it resides in.
With these collective features there is no need to trust in a potentially corrupt or inefficient third party. They allow us to conduct “trustless” deals anywhere in the world, and any associated fees that would have paid for the security of a transaction would no longer be necessary. This then opens up new markets which are dealing with corruption, unstable currencies or poor business practices. The crypto can stand outside these issues, providing stability in the market.
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