What is Cryptocurrency?
Cryptocurrencies, most often referred to as “crypto,” refer to digital currency which can be used to purchase goods or services much like traditional money. Crypto varies from traditional currency, however, in that it’s exchanged in tokens that can later be converted into physical currency. Crypto runs on blockchain technology, meaning it’s decentralized and controlled by no single entity. To many, this decentralization is what makes is so appealing.
Crypto is highly secure and allows for a level of privacy that cannot be achieved with more traditional transactions. As explained by NerdWallet, crypto “uses an online ledger with strong cryptography to secure online transactions.” Bitcoin is the most popular and widely known cryptocurrency, followed by Ethereum and Tether. The market is rapidly expanding, though, with over 4,000 cryptocurrencies in existence today.
Trading Crypto: Markets for Cryptocurrency
In addition to being used as a store of value or in place of paper money, crypto can also be traded. Many people are increasingly making a profit from crypto trading and choosing to go this route. If you are wondering how to invest in Bitcoin, today there are myriad ways to do so. To get started, you’ll need to visit a crypto market.
There are a variety of crypto markets which investors can choose to use to trade their currency. These markets include domestic markets in the United States, as well as various markets located in countries around the world. These crypto markets are “always on,” or open and available around the clock and across time zones. They are open to all sorts of traders, from casual users to serious or seasoned investors. Different markets allow different currencies for trading. Some are open to users around the world, while others are restricted by geolocation.
What are the Benefits and Risks of Investing in Crypto?
Benefits of Crypto
Using crypto comes with a variety of benefits, and people choose it for many different reasons. These include:
- Security: Crypto is highly secure, and one of the main reasons people choose it is for this security. Blockchain, as the name indicates, is comprised of a series of blocks. The technology records data in hash functions and makes use of timestamps. Because of this, data can’t be changed, manipulated nor overwritten. Whatever is recorded in the blockchain is permanent; there is also a record which cannot be tampered with. This means it is highly secure.
- Decentralization: One major benefit of blockchain (and consequently crypto) and a reason many people choose to invest in the technology is that it’s decentralized. This means it is not controlled by one government or entity, and thus cannot be regulated in the same way as traditional currency. it also means users don’t have to trust a single authority or body. Decentralization also better protects assets from cyber criminals, since there is no central point to attack (or point of weakness), speaking to the security benefit above.
- Ease of Access: Because of these points above, it’s easy to move crypto easily and quickly. You do not need to rely upon any outside party such as a bank to assist with a transaction. Instead, with crypto you are responsible for and in control of your own funds.
- Always On: Crypto is “always on.” Unlike the traditional stock market, crypto markets never close and are not constrained by time zones or business hours. This means crypto can be traded or used every single day, providing a constant marketplace.
Risks of Crypto
Although crypto boasts some big benefits, it also comes with a few risks. Because of the popularity and the lucrative nature of crypto, hackers are increasingly targeting it despite its security. There is a lot of money involved with crypto, and with prices on the rise people certainly want access to that money. The rewards for a successful hack are potentially much more profitable than other forms of hacking. This type of hacking is sometimes referred to as “cryptojacking.”
Another risk of crypto is the flipside of the benefit; If you are hacked there is no recourse. Since it’s decentralized and not accountable to any central area of control, there is no way to get your money back if it’s lost or stolen. There is no one to call or report to. While decentralization and control over your own assets is a benefit, it’s also a negative as you are solely responsible for your crypto assets.
Why Use a VPN for Crypto?
So what does a VPN have to do with cryptocurrency? Why would one want to use a crypto VPN in conjunction with crypto transactions or while trading cryptocurrencies? Well, there are two main reasons:
- Privacy and Security
- Access to International Markets
Stay Safe and Private While Using Crypto
All users, from those who make a living out of trading to casual users, can benefit from using a VPN for crypto due to the privacy and security implications. A VPN secures your connections with encryption, meaning that all transactions are secured and no one can see that you are making them. It allows you to hide your geolocation (IP address) and identity, adding even more protection for you personally and for your crypto transactions. Recently, there have been some more pressing reasons to use a VPN for crypto, including an increase in fear after higher profile events surrounding crypto. Anyone possessing crypto may want to try harder to stay as private as possible.
Using a VPN for crypto allows you to:
- Secure your internet connection, and thus further secure your crypto transactions through encryption
- Hide your identity and location, which offers synergy with some of the appeals of crypto as a more private currency
- Feel safer and more comfortable knowing your privacy is protected when transacting with crypto
Access International Crypto Markets
More serious crypto users and traders may want – or need – a VPN in order to support their activities and business. Because crypto markets are located all over the world anddo not always offer the same currencies on each market, you may want to access an international market or market outside your home country. Not all markets are the same, and overseas markets often have more tokens and options, making them superior or simply more appealing to outside users.
United States crypto customers, for example, often choose overseas exchanges for a variety of reasons including:
- The US is more regulatory than some nations, and requires information not everyone wants to share (driver's license, passport)
- Only some coins are allowed in certain countries, so foreign markets have access to other types of coins that may not be available in America
Much like a streaming service uses your IP to determine your location and thus provide - or restrict - access to the appropriate catalog(s), a crypto market will assess a users’ IP to determine if they are allowed to access that market. Location is assessed based on IP, so users accessing markets where they are not local can then use a VPN to change their IP and appear local. Thus far, VPN blocking is not in place for most markets; it seems the marketplaces don’t mind having international people as long as their geolocation is correct based on IP.
If you are wondering how to invest in Bitcoin or another currency in a foreign country, a VPN is an easy answer. The risks of not using a VPN aren’t worth it. If you are caught using a foreign marketplace from a non-local IP (or your real IP if you are outside the geo), there is some risk of getting “caught” and some markets are known to freeze your funds and hold them for a period of time before returning them. Of course, they will also likely ban you from the market.
VyprVPN for Crypto
As you can see, there are two major reasons you’d want to use a VPN anytime you are dealing with crypto. Whether you’re creating a new crypto account or wallet, viewing your balance, trading, selling or buying, a VPN is a must-have tool for crypto online (and every time you connect to the internet). A VPN secures your connection to protect your privacy. Additionally, using a VPN allows you to access more crypto markets and coins without restrictions, and to appear local to whatever market you want to trade or invest in. VyprVPN is an excellent VPN for crypto, offering over 300,000 IP addressesand locations in over 70 countries worldwide. We also own our network and server 100% without third parties, meaning we offer the highest levels of security, plus offer the industry-leading and most secure protocol option, WireGuard. Try using a VPN for your crypto activities today!