What is Cryptocurrency?
Cryptocurrencies are digital tokens that hold a specific value and use cryptography for security. Cryptography, or the act of disguising code for something else makes the system that powers cryptocurrencies nearly impossible to hack. These digital currencies are decentralized in nature, and aren't owned or controlled by any single entity. Instead, a community of users secures the network which allows for trustless transacting on a global scale. Cryptocurrencies are a lot cheaper and faster because of this.
Now, when you go to send money or convert fiat currencies, there's usually heavy fees and prolonged wait times. With cryptocurrencies you can send money anywhere almost instantly, with minimal fees. Cryptocurrencies work because of blockchain, the underlying technology which creates incentive for users to secure and maintain the network. This is done in various ways we will discuss in the coming pages.
The first blockchain, and cryptocurrency was Bitcoin. The idea was created in 2008 by an anonymous programmer named Satoshi Nakamoto. A few months later the blockchain had come to fruition from various developers who worked on the open-sourced code. Bitcoin started off as a sketchy internet currency that was mainly used on the dark web because of its' anonymity. That stigma has faded and what started off as a small-scale payment system has grown into a multi-billion dollar currency that's increasingly being accepted by businesses all over the world. Bitcoin has also kick-started an entire market of cryptocurrencies which has grown exponentially. Some like Ethereum, Ripple, and Litecoin are believed to have even more potential than their counterpart.