Crypto currencies remain cryptic for most

Even those who understand them don’t trust them

For most Brits there’s nothing like the simplicity of pounds and pence, though if the government scheme to bring back imperial measurements extends into old-time currency that could even be pounds, shillings and pence. Imagine all those “bobs”, “tanners”, “half-crowns” and twelve-sided “threepenny bits” bulging in the pockets again. Perhaps that’s a financial step too far, but there is something safe and secure about seeing and even holding your “real” money and knowing that should you want to, there’s nothing to stop you going to the bank, drawing out your cash and slipping it into your wallet. And talking of wallets, that’s what you’ll need if you decide to dip a toe or even plunge headfirst into the deep pool of crypto currencies. Only it’s not a real wallet and the currency you fill it with isn’t real either. However, an investment into one or more of the many thousands of crypto currencies might eventually be a better bet than money in the bank. But beware that word might. Confused? Well, it appears that many of our readers are as only a combined 17% of those surveyed reckon they have either a very good or fairly good understanding of crypto currencies, while a combined 79% say they are pretty much or very much in the dark over currency that isn’t physically real but costs real money to buy and to invest or trade in.

In a miniscule nutshell, crypto currency is a form of payment that can be exchanged online for goods and services, or traded, preferably for profit. Many companies have issued their own currencies, often called tokens, which can be traded for the goods or services that company provides. The system works using a technology called blockchain which manages and records transactions and is reckoned to be ultra-secure. To buy crypto currencies you’ll need that “wallet”, an online app that can hold your currency. Usually, you create an account on an exchange and then transfer in real money to buy crypto currencies such as Bitcoin or Etherum. Got it so far? A majority of our readers, 59%, say they have little trust in crypto currencies and almost the same number, 60%, have never used them and have no intention of doing so. But supporters, particularly Millennials who have grown up with the evolution of the internet and often prefer online transactions, are increasingly buying up and holding on to crypto currencies, convinced that they are the currency of the future and will, at some time, make big money. They could be right, with governments around the globe, including our own, already investigating the possibility of creating national crypto currencies. Chancellor Rishi Sunak has told the Bank of England to look at a potential new UK digital currency, already termed the “Britcoin”. On the other hand, the crypto-crazy might just be heading for a financial fall because as the warning always states: the value of any investment can go down as well as up.

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