The rise of cryptocurrency has taken the world by storm.
A large majority of people don't even know what the blockchain is. By allowing digital information to be distributed but not copied, blockchain technology created the backbone of a new type of internet. Originally devised for the digital currency, Bitcoin, the tech community is now finding other potential uses for the technology.
Decentralized currency has become a staple in today's digital world.
Whereas most people are kicking themselves for not purchasing Bitcoin years ago which would've made them millionaires today, a new era in digital currency has appeared. ICOs, or initial coin offerings and other cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum. An ICO is a tool for fundraising that allows you to trade future cryptocoins in exchange for cryptocurrencies of immediate, liquid value. You give out Bitcoin or Ethereum during the ICO, and you get some of Dave's Cool New Tech Startup Coin.
Most of the new ICO's are built on the Ethereum blockchain and offer some sort of new platform that utilizes the coin they are offering as the payment structure for the service. For example, http://Dmarket.io just had an ICO for their decentralized marketplace that aims to turn every virtual item into a real commodity. So let's say you play WoW (World of Warcraft), and you have thousands of dollars worth of gold, weapons, armor, and mounts. Well all of those awesome goodies are stuck in game, but with Dmarket, the hope is that you will be able to sell those virtual items for Dmarket tokens which you can then trade for BTC (Bitcoin) or ETH (Ethereum) if you so choose.
Just a few months ago Ethereum was roughly $8 per coin and as of this writing it is getting closer to $390 per coin. That is a humongous advance in value in just a couple of months. The difference between Bitcoin and Ethereum is that Bitcoin is more of a currency, and Ethereum is more of a platform where companies and organizations can raise funding, enable smart contracts and write programs.
If you feel as though you were left out of the mix and it is too late for you, think again.
You can easily purchase Ethereum coins and just sit on them for a couple of years to see a rise in value. Digital currency and ICO's are not going anywhere. It's only going to grow and become more valuable than Fiat money in the coming years.