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Trading financial products on margin carries a high risk and is not suitable for all investors. Ensure you fully understand the risks and take appropriate care to manage your risk.

Trading financial products on margin carries a high degree of risk and is not suitable for all investors. Please ensure you fully understand the risks and take appropriate care to manage your risk.

Your capital is at risk.

Crypto Trading

What is crypto and how does it work?

Diverse individuals at bitcoin-logo adorned desks, pondering: What is crypto?

What is crypto?

Crypto, or cryptocurrency, is a type of digital currency that uses encryption techniques to secure its transactions and control the creation of new units. The first cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, was launched in 2009 and has since been joined by thousands of other cryptocurrencies.

It is based on blockchain technology, which is a decentralised ledger that records all transactions made on the network. This is maintained by a network of computers rather than a central authority, which makes it difficult to alter or tamper with. It creates a high level of transparency and security, making it a popular choice for individuals and businesses looking to conduct secure and anonymous transactions.

However, it is important to be aware of the risks associated with crypto, including its volatility and potential use in illegal activities.

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Differences between virtual currency & crypto

Virtual currencies and cryptocurrencies are often used interchangeably, but they have distinct differences that set them apart. The following comparison table summarises some of the key differences between them:

Virtual currency Cryptocurrency
Control Virtual currencies are usually centralized and controlled by a central authority or organization. Cryptocurrencies, on the other hand, are decentralized and not controlled by any central authority or government.
Regulation They are subject to government regulation and may require compliance with anti-money laundering (AML) and know-your-customer (KYC) regulations. They are not subject to government regulation and control, which means they are free from AML and KYC regulations, offering users greater privacy and anonymity.
Transactions Virtual currencies often have less secure and less anonymous transactions compared to cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrencies use blockchain technology to ensure anonymity and security in transactions, making them more secure and private.
Value They are often tied to the value of a real-world currency, such as the US dollar, and their value is more stable. Their value is determined by market demand and supply, and it can be highly volatile.
Usage Virtual currencies are often used in online gaming and social networking, where users can buy virtual goods or services. Cryptocurrencies are increasingly being used as a form of payment.

It is important to understand these differences when considering the use or investment in these digital assets.

Basic characteristics of crypto

Cryptocurrencies have several basic characteristics that set them apart from other forms of currency:

  • Decentralisation: It is not controlled by any central authority or government. Transactions are peer-to-peer and anonymous, allowing for greater privacy and security.
  • Security: Advanced encryption techniques are used to secure transactions and protect against fraud and hacking.
  • Transparency: Transactions on the blockchain, the technology behind most cryptocurrencies, are transparent and visible to all users. This creates a high level of accountability, which is important for preventing fraud and ensuring the integrity of the system.
  • Limited supply: Most of them have a limited supply, which helps to maintain their value and prevent inflation. This contrasts with fiat currencies, which can be printed at will and are subject to inflation.
  • Global acceptance: Cryptocurrencies can be used and accepted anywhere in the world, without the need for currency exchange. This makes them a convenient and cost-effective form of payment for international transactions.

These basic characteristics make crypto a unique and innovative form of currency that has the potential to revolutionise the way we do business and exchange value.

Pros & cons

As with any financial instrument, cryptocurrencies have both advantages and disadvantages. Here are some of the most important ones:

Advantages Disadvantages
Decentralisation: they are resistant to government control and manipulation. Volatility: they are highly volatile, with prices fluctuating rapidly and unpredictably.
Security: cryptocurrencies use advanced encryption techniques, making them more secure than traditional forms of currency. Limited acceptance: they are still not accepted everywhere.
Accessibility: anyone can buy and use them, regardless of their location or financial status. Lack of regulation: cryptocurrencies are largely unregulated, which can make them more susceptible to fraud and scams.
Speed: transactions can be completed much faster than traditional financial transactions. Complexity: crypto can be complex and difficult to understand for those who are not technically savvy.
Lower fees: crypto transactions typically have lower fees than traditional financial transactions. Irreversible transactions: while irreversible transactions can help prevent fraud, they can also be a disadvantage if a transaction is made in error or is fraudulent.

It is important for individuals to weigh these pros and cons carefully before investing in cryptocurrencies.

Crypto classification

In the following section, we will delve into various classifications of cryptocurrencies based on various factors such as technology, purpose, and functionality. We will compare different types of cryptocurrencies and highlight the key differences between them.

Coins vs tokens

They are both types of cryptocurrencies, but they differ in their functionality. Coins, such as Bitcoin. are standalone cryptocurrencies that operate on their own blockchain network. Tokens, on the other hand, are built on top of an existing blockchain network, such as Ethereum, and are used to represent assets or utilities.

Payment vs utility

Payment coins, such as Bitcoin and Litecoin, are primarily used for peer-to-peer transactions and as a store of value. Utility coins, such as Ether, are used to access and pay for services within a blockchain network, such as executing smart contracts.

Proof of work (PoW) vs proof of stake (PoS)

Cryptocurrencies can also be classified based on their consensus mechanism. PoW is the original consensus mechanism used by Bitcoin, which involves solving complex mathematical problems to validate transactions and create new coins. PoS, on the other hand, involves validators staking their coins to validate transactions and create new coins, eliminating the need for energy-intensive mining.

Centralised vs decentralised

Centralised cryptos are controlled by a central authority or organisation, while decentralised ones are built on a spread blockchain network and are not controlled by any central authority. Examples of centralised cryptocurrencies include Ripple and Facebook's upcoming Diem, while examples of decentralised cryptocurrencies include Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Understanding the classification of cryptocurrencies can help investors and traders make informed decisions when investing in the crypto market.

Cryptos that every trader should know in 2024

Cryptocurrencies have become increasingly popular among traders and investors, and with the fast pace of innovation, it can be challenging to keep up with the latest and most promising options. In 2024, traders should consider the following cryptos:

  1. Bitcoin (BTC): As the first cryptocurrency, it remains the most widely recognized and traded. Its market dominance makes it a reliable option for traders.
  2. Ethereum (ETH): As the second-largest cryptocurrency, this crypto is a decentralised platform that allows for the creation of smart contracts and applications, making it highly attractive to developers and investors.
  3. Binance Coin (BNB): As the native token of Binance, one of the world's largest cryptocurrency exchanges, it has gained popularity due to its multiple use cases, including payment of trading fees and access to Binance Launchpad.
  4. Solana (SOL): As a high-speed blockchain platform, Solana aims to provide a highly scalable and decentralised infrastructure for various applications.
  5. Cardano (ADA): As a third-generation blockchain platform, it aims to provide a highly scalable and sustainable infrastructure for decentralised applications.

It's important to note that the cryptocurrency market is highly volatile, and traders should always conduct thorough research before investing in any particular crypto.


It's clear that crypto holds immense potential to redefine our understanding of money and financial systems. But as with any new technology, it comes with its own set of challenges and risks, therefore proper research and risk management is crucial.

Ready to dive deeper into the world of crypto? Visit the Skilling education centre and learn more on how to get started trading cryptos. It's totally free to learn.

Crypto FAQs

1. What is the difference between crypto and fiat currency?

Crypto is a digital currency that operates independently of central banks, while fiat currency is government-issued and regulated by central banks.

2. Is crypto safe to use?

Crypto transactions are generally considered safe due to their decentralised nature and the use of cryptography to secure them. However, there are still risks associated, such as hacking and fraud.

3. Can crypto be used to buy goods and services?

Yes, many merchants and businesses now accept crypto as a form of payment.

4. How do I buy and sell crypto?

Cryptocurrencies can be bought and sold on crypto exchanges or through Skilling.

5. How is the value of crypto determined?

Its value is determined by market supply and demand, as well as factors such as adoption and media coverage.

6. What is the blockchain?

The blockchain is the underlying technology behind many cryptocurrencies, which allows for secure, decentralised transactions and a transparent ledger.

7. Is it too late to invest in crypto?

While crypto has seen significant growth over the past decade, it is still a relatively new and volatile market. It's important to do your own research and make informed investment decisions, but it is not too late to invest in this segment.

8. What is a wallet?

A crypto wallet is a digital wallet used to store, send, and receive cryptocurrencies.

9. Can I mine crypto?

Yes, some cryptocurrencies can be mined through a process that involves solving complex mathematical problems using computer hardware.

The legality varies by country and jurisdiction. It's important to research the laws and regulations in your area before investing or using crypto.

Not investment advice. Past performance is not indicative of future results. Trading cryptocurrency may not be available depending on your country of residence.

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