Crypto 101: A Beginner’s Guide to Digital Currency

Published On: May 16th, 2022

The year is 2022. Cryptocurrency has taken the world by storm.

Major corporations have begun to accept crypto as a form of payment. Even the government is getting involved, with some countries proposing their own digital currencies.

So, what is so great about crypto? And why is everyone talking about it?

Let’s start with the basics. What is cryptocurrency?

Cryptocurrency is a digital currency that uses cryptography to secure its transactions, verify the transfer of currency, and regulate the creation of new units. In general, cryptocurrencies cannot be controlled by the government or financial institutions.

What is cryptocurrency worth?

Cryptocurrencies are traded on decentralized exchanges and some can also be bought with fiat currencies (USD, EUR, GBP, etc.) The value of a cryptocurrency is determined by the market supply and demand.

The benefits of cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrencies offer a number of advantages over traditional fiat currencies. They are:


Cryptocurrencies are not subject to government or financial institution control. This means that they are more resistant to censorship, fraud, and other malicious activities.


Cryptocurrencies offer a high degree of privacy. Transactions are often pseudonymous, and users can remain anonymous if they choose.


Cryptocurrencies use strong cryptography to protect transactions from being tampered with or reversed.

Speed and global reach

Transactions can be made quickly and easily, without the need for intermediaries such as banks or clearinghouses. They are also not limited by geography, making them truly global currencies.

The risks of investing in cryptocurrency

Before you begin investing, consider these potential risks:


There are many scams associated with cryptocurrency. Do your research before investing in any crypto asset.


Exchanges and wallets are susceptible to hackers, which results in the loss of crypto funds. Be sure to choose a reputable exchange or wallet. Take precautions to protect your crypto assets!

Regulatory risk

Governments may crack down on cryptocurrency use, making it difficult to buy, sell, or use crypto assets. Be sure to stay up to date on the latest crypto regulations in your country.


Cryptocurrency prices are highly volatile. In other words, they can rise and fall rapidly in price, making them a risky investment. Do your research before investing and only spend what you can afford to lose.

What is a blockchain and how does it work?

Think of a blockchain as a digital accounting book of cryptocurrency transactions.

The first block in a blockchain is called the genesis block. As new blocks are added, the blockchain continues to grow.

Each block is made up of the previous block’s info, timestamp, and transaction data.

What is cryptocurrency mining?

Cryptocurrency mining is the process of adding new crypto assets to the market.

But crypto mining is more than just making new coins. It also involves verifying cryptocurrency transactions on a blockchain network and adding them to a ledger that is shared with other people.

Crypto mining is important because it stops people from spending the same digital currency more than once on a distributed network.

Like regular currencies, when someone spends cryptocurrency, the digital ledger is updated to show that the money has been taken from one account and put into another.

In return for their work, miners are rewarded with crypto assets.

Types of cryptocurrency


Bitcoin is the first and most well-known cryptocurrency. It was created in 2009 by an anonymous person or group of people using the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto.


Since the creation of Bitcoin, thousands of different crypto coins have popped up on the Internet. Some are very similar to Bitcoin, while others offer unique features and benefits.

Cryptocurrencies that have attempted to position themselves as modified or enhanced versions of Bitcoin are known as altcoins. Despite the fact that some of these currencies may include features greater than those found in Bitcoin, altcoins haven’t yet been able to match the level of security Bitcoin’s networks provide.

Top 10 altcoins to watch in 2022

1. Bitcoin Cash (BCH)

Bitcoin Cash is a cryptocurrency that was created in August 2017. It is a fork of Bitcoin, meaning it is a copy of the Bitcoin blockchain with some changes to the code. Bitcoin Cash has a larger block size limit and uses an alternative transaction verification process called “proof-of-work.”

2. Bitcoin SV (BSV)

Bitcoin SV is a cryptocurrency that was created in November 2018. Bitcoin SV is intended to be a more “pure” version of Bitcoin. It is a copy of the Bitcoin Cash blockchain with modifications to the code.

3. Ethereum (ETH)

Ethereum is a cryptocurrency that was created in 2015. It is different from Bitcoin in that it allows for smart contracts, which are programs that can be executed on the Ethereum blockchain.

4. Ethereum Classic (ETC)

Ethereum Classic is a cryptocurrency that was created in 2016. It is a fork of Ethereum, and it was created to be a superior version of its original blockchain.

5. Litecoin (LTC)

Litecoin is a cryptocurrency that was created in October 2011 by Charlie Lee. It is a fork of Bitcoin, but Litecoin has a faster transaction confirmation time and a higher maximum number of coins.

6. Polkadot (DOT)

Polkadot is a cryptocurrency that was created in 2016. It is intended to be a more versatile and scalable blockchain than Ethereum. It allows blockchains to connect and work together by enabling independent chains to securely exchange messages and transactions with each other without a trusted third party.

7. Cardano (ADA)

Cardano is a cryptocurrency that was created in 2015. It is touted as one of the most advanced blockchain platforms to date, as it was designed from the ground up to support smart contracts and decentralized applications.

8. Tether (USDT)

Tether is a cryptocurrency that is pegged to the US Dollar. The value of one Tether coin is always equal to $1 USD.

9. USD Coin (USDC)

USD Coin is a cryptocurrency that is backed by the US government and can be used to buy goods and services from businesses that accept it.

10. XRP (XRP)

XRP is a cryptocurrency that was created by Ripple. It is used to facilitate cross-border payments and is also being tested by various banks and financial institutions.

Crypto investing tips for beginners

Here are a few tips to keep in mind if you’re thinking about investing in cryptocurrency:

1. Do your research

Before investing in any asset, it’s important to do your research and understand the risks involved. With crypto, there are additional risks due to the volatile nature of the market.

2. Only invest what you can afford to lose

Crypto is a risky investment, so you shouldn’t invest your life savings into it. If you’re not comfortable with the idea of losing your investment, then crypto may not be for you.

3. Diversify your investments

Investing in multiple cryptocurrencies will help diversify your risk and protect your portfolio from volatility.

4. Use a reputable exchange

When buying or selling crypto, make sure to use a reputable exchange. There have been cases of fraud and hacks on exchanges, so it’s important to choose a well-established platform.

5. Keep your private keys safe

Your private keys are what give you access to your cryptocurrency. If they are lost or stolen, you could lose access to your crypto. That’s why it’s important to keep them safe in a secure wallet.

6. Look to the future rather than relying on the past results of an asset.

While crypto has seen some impressive returns in the past, it’s important to look to the future when making investment decisions. The crypto market is still young and volatile, so it’s crucial to consider the long-term potential of an asset before investing.

7. Consider using a crypto wallet

A crypto wallet is a digital way to store your cryptocurrency. They are typically more secure than traditional wallets, and some even offer additional features like multi-factor authentication.

8. Don’t forget to pay taxes on your crypto

If you make money from investing in crypto, you will likely be required to pay taxes on your gains. Depending on your country of residence, you may be subject to different tax laws. Be sure to consult a tax professional to ensure you are compliant with the law.

The future of crypto

The future of cryptocurrency is bright. Cryptocurrencies have the potential to become global currencies that are used by everyone from businesses to individuals. They are also becoming more accepted by governments and financial institutions.

However, crypto is still in its early stages, and it is unclear what the future will hold. Some experts believe that crypto coins will eventually replace fiat currencies, while others think that crypto will exist alongside traditional currencies. Only time will tell!

Ready to start accepting cryptocurrency payments?

Now that you know the basics of crypto, you’re ready to start exploring the world of digital currency! Whether you’re a business owner or an individual crypto enthusiast, there are many ways to start accepting crypto payments.

Vector Payments is the leading provider of crypto payment processing solutions. We offer a variety of services to help businesses accept crypto payments, including travel, telecommunications, cannabis, CBD, or even for your t-shirt sales!

For more information, get in touch with our team.