Status of the Bitcoin network as of Sunday, October 06, 2019 at 12:00:02 EST: Total bitcoins: 17,976,946.044972 Height: 598,162 Difficulty: 12,759,819,404,408.789062 Statistics for the past 24 hours: Number of blocks mined: 147 Total bitcoins output (amount sent): 496,102.022565 Total fees: 16.449356 Average time until block found: 9 minutes, 47 seconds Estimated hashrate: 93,241,227,233.279419 gh/s Current […]
Despite the intricate technology associated with and necessary for cryptocurrency investing, speculation and possession, Coinbase has created an apparatus that makes this process remarkably easy and familiar, almost like buying and selling stocks. This screenshot from the Coinbase site shows real-time cryptocurrency prices and doesn't look too different from your ordinary online stock tracker.
Essentially, if you are interested in trading in digital currencies but don't want to get bogged down in the underlying technology, products like Coinbase are a way to begin a foray into a new form of currency speculation and investing. You do, however, lose some of the advantages of trading in a cryptocurrency and through the blockchain. On Coinbase, you have no pseudo anonymity—your name is attached to your Coinbase account and so is your bank account, so transaction history is relatively easy to track down. And if you're not working on the blockchain, there's not much you can do to ensure that the verification of your transaction history or your account is taking place on the blockchain. You are, instead, placing trust in the intermediary, in this case, Coinbase.