What is Bitcoin and why is its price so high?

How to create your own cryptocurrency: A beginner's guide to starting a bitcoin alternative

While it isn’t as difficult as you might expect, the real difficulties lie in maintaining it, convincing people it has a future, and getting people to use it

Aatif Sulleyman
Wednesday 10 January 2018 16:41
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Bitcoin’s spectacular rise in value over the past year has spurred huge amounts of interest in digital currencies, and brand new altcoins are constantly being created.

There are hundreds of digital currencies in existence now, more than 80 of which were listed in the past month, according to CoinMarketCap.

New bitcoin alternatives are likely to keep launching, as it isn’t as difficult as you might expect to create your own digital currency.

:: The Independent’s bitcoin group is the place for the best headlines and discussion of all cryptocurrencies. Like it here for the latest on how people are making money – and losing it

That’s because there are dedicated cryptocurrency creation services out there, from the likes of CryptoLife, Wallet Builders and Coin Creator.

They promise to carry out the technical work for you but, as Coin Creator notes, you need to have a precise idea for a project in mind, and display a level of interest and commitment that is “beyond idle curiosity”.

Otherwise, you’re highly likely to fail.

The real difficulties, however, lie in maintaining your cryptocurrency, convincing people that it’s actually worthwhile and has a future, and getting them to use it.

While you don’t necessarily need to have coding skills to set you own digital currency up, they’re vital when it comes to keeping it going.

That requires serious effort. Dogecoin, an altcoin that was originally created as a joke, has its own development team that is constantly working to keep the digital currency stable and secure, to protect users from hackers.

Cryptocurrencies are a popular target for cyber criminals, and poorly protected systems will be more attractive to them than secure systems.

Though digital currencies have helped lots of people make money in a short amount of time, experts believe the bubble will burst in the near future.

The creator of dogecoin recently said it is “worrying” that most conversations around digital currencies focus on the investment potential rather than the underlying technology.

However, the investment potential is without doubt the biggest factor that’s fuelling the creation of so many new digital currencies.

“I think it’s relatively safe to label the current market as a ‘bubble’, although it’s hard to predict how much it’ll inflate and for how long before it inevitably bursts,” he added.

“My one hope is that when that does happen and people lose large sums of money, the negativity in the market doesn’t stifle technological innovation or interest in digital currency from the mainstream.”

We’ve teamed up with cryptocurrency trading platform eToro. Click here to get the latest Bitcoin rates and start trading. Cryptocurrencies are a highly volatile unregulated investment product. No EU investor protection. 75% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs.

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