Cryptocurrencies are the latest ‘big thing’ in the digital world and have now been recognized as being part of the monetary system. In fact, enthusiasts have tagged it as ‘the revolution of money’.
In clear terms, cryptocurrencies are decentralized digital assets that can be exchanged between users without the need for a central authority, the majority of which being created via special computation techniques referred to as ‘mining’.
The acceptance of currencies, like the US Dollar, Great British Pound and the Euro, as legal tender is because they have been issued by a central bank; digital currencies, however, such as cryptocurrencies, are not reliant on the confidence and trust of the public on the issuer. As such, several factors determine its value.
Factors that Determine the Value of Cryptocurrencies
Principles of Free Market Economy (Mainly Supply and Demand)
Supply and demand is a major determinant of the value of anything of value, including cryptocurrencies. This is because if more people are willing to buy a cryptocurrency, and others are willing to sell, the price of that particular cryptocurrency will increase, and vice versa.
Mass adoption of any cryptocurrency can shoot its price to the moon. This is due to many cryptocurrencies having their supply capped at a particular limit and, according to economic principles, an increase in demand without a corresponding increase in supply will lead to a price increase of that particular commodity.
Multiple cryptocurrencies have invested more resources to ensure their mass adoption, with some focusing on the applicability of their cryptocurrency to pressing personal life issues, as well as crucial day-to-day cases, with the intention of making them indispensable in everyday life.
If a fiat currency, like the USD or GBP, becomes inflated, its price rises and its purchasing power drops. This will then cause cryptocurrencies (let’s use Bitcoin as an example) to increase with respect to that fiat. The result is that you will be able to acquire more of that fiat with each bitcoin. In fact, this situation has been one of the major reasons for Bitcoin’s price increase.
Scams and Cyber Attack History
Scams and hacks are also core factors affecting the value of cryptocurrencies, as they are known to cause wild swings in valuations. In some cases, the team backing a cryptocurrency may be the scammers; they’ll pump the price of the cryptocurrency to attract unsuspecting individuals and when their hard-earned money is invested, the price is shortened by the scammers, who then disappear without a trace.
It is therefore imperative to be careful of cryptocurrency scams before investing your money.
Some other factors to consider, that have an impact on the value of cryptocurrencies, include:
- Manner in which the cryptocurrency is stored, as well as its utility, security, ease of acquisition and cross-border acceptability
- Strength of the community backing the cryptocurrency (this includes funding, innovation and the loyalty of its members)
- Low associated risks of the cryptocurrency as perceived by investors and users
- News sentiment
- Market liquidity and volatility of the cryptocurrency
- Country regulations (this includes the ban of cryptocurrency and ICOs in China and its acceptance as legal tender in Japan)