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Cryptocurrency is an electronic money created with technology controlling its creation and protecting transactions, while hiding the identities of its users.
Crypto- is short for “cryptography”, and cryptography is computer technology used for security, hiding information, identities and more. Currency simply means “money currently in use”. Cryptocurrencies are a digital cash designed to be quicker, cheaper and more reliable than our regular government issued money.
To prevent fraud and manipulation, every user of a cryptocurrency can simultaneously record and verify their own transactions and the transactions of everyone else. The digital transaction recordings are known as a “ledger” and this ledger is publicly available to anyone. With this public ledger, transactions become efficient, permanent, secure and transparent.
With public records, cryptocurrencies don’t require you trust a bank to hold your money. They don’t require you trust the person you are doing business with to actually pay you. Instead, you can actually see the money being sent, received, verified, and recorded by thousands of people. This system requires no trust and this unique positive quality is known as “trustless”. The first cryptocurrency was bitcoin.
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