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Blockchain and Cryptocurrency: Cryptocurrency

Definition

What Is Cryptocurrency?

A cryptocurrency is a digital or virtual currency that is secured by cryptography, which makes it nearly impossible to counterfeit or double-spend. Many cryptocurrencies are decentralized networks based on blockchain technology—a distributed ledger enforced by a disparate network of computers. A defining feature of cryptocurrencies is that they are generally not issued by any central authority, rendering them theoretically immune to government interference or manipulation.


KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • A cryptocurrency is a form of digital asset based on a network that is distributed across a large number of computers. This decentralized structure allows them to exist outside the control of governments and central authorities.
  • Experts believe that blockchain and related technology will disrupt many industries, including finance and law.
  • The advantages of cryptocurrencies include cheaper and faster money transfers and decentralized systems that do not collapse at a single point of failure.
  • The disadvantages of cryptocurrencies include their price volatility, high energy consumption for mining activities, and use in criminal activities.

 

References
Frankenfield, J. (2022, January11). Cryptocurrency. Investopedia.
https://www.investopedia.com/terms/c/cryptocurrency.asp


What Is Cryptocurrency?

A cryptocurrency is a medium of exchange that is digital, encrypted and decentralized. Unlike the U.S. Dollar or the Euro, there is no central authority that manages and maintains the value of a cryptocurrency. Instead, these tasks are broadly distributed among a cryptocurrency’s users via the internet.

You can use crypto to buy regular goods and services, although most people invest in cryptocurrencies as they would in other assets, like stocks or precious metals. While cryptocurrency is a novel and exciting asset class, purchasing it can be risky as you must take on a fair amount of research to fully understand how each system works.

Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency, first outlined in principle by Satoshi Nakamoto in a 2008 paper titled “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System.” Nakamoto described the project as “an electronic payment system based on cryptographic proof instead of trust.”

That cryptographic proof comes in the form of transactions that are verified and recorded on a blockchain.

 

References
Ashford, K. & Schmidt, J. (2022, January 5). What Is Cryptocurrency? Forbes. 
https://www.forbes.com/advisor/investing/what-is-cryptocurrency/

CQ Researcher