While the adoption of cryptocurrency has increased, it has faced its fair share of regulatory issues around the world. Image Credit: Unsplash/Jievani Weerasinghe

No matter where you look, people seem to be investing in digital currencies. But for many, it remains a mysterious industry.

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The global cryptocurrency market size was valued at $1.49 billion (Dh5.47 billion) in 2020, and is projected to reach $4.94 billion (Dh18.14 billion) by 2030, according to US-based market research company Allied Market Research. 

Here are five quick facts about cryptocurrencies that will help shed some light on how it works:

1. It has a limited quantity

Cryptocurrency is not endless – it’s a limited resource, like gold or oil, which is why currencies like Bitcoin increase in value when supply goes down.

2. The creator of Bitcoin?

Who is responsible for creating and launching the virtual currency market? No one knows for sure. Some people, however, refer to the maker of bitcoin as Satoshi Nakamoto, a pseudonym for the person or people who developed it. However, popular belief states that the name is actually an acronym for leading tech companies Samsung, Toshiba, Nakamichi and Motorola. In 2015, an Australian computer scientist named Craig Steven Wright publicly claimed to be Nakamoto, but his announcement was met with much scepticism.

3. It’s difficult to ban

Around the world, many countries have deliberated banning cryptocurrencies – especially when its widespread use first began. But it’s nearly impossible to ban it because anyone can get a crypto wallet on the internet and use it. While the process can be regulated, the cryptocurrency market itself cannot be banned. Some countries that have got rid of the right to use cryptocurrencies are Cambodia, Bolivia, Algeria and Nepal. In some places, mining cryptocurrency is illegal, and in others, the banking sector remains reluctant to exchange it for real, tangible money.

4. Huge volume of currencies

Everyone wants to be a part of the growing market, and there are new currencies popping up around the world every day. According to US-based news network CNBC, there are currently over 19,000 cryptocurrencies in existence, and dozens of blockchain platforms (the underlying technology behind digital currencies) that exist.

5. China is the biggest cryptocurrency miner

Mining cryptocurrency is the process of verifying transactions before they’re placed on the blockchain’s ledger. It’s a profitable aspect of the process, and China controls around 75 per cent of the mining network. The country has several mining farms – large spaces like warehouses, which use special computer equipment to exclusively mine Bitcoins. These farms are fully airconditioned to prevent the equipment from overheating. While some farms have their own investors, others operate as start-ups.

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