What is a Cryptocurrency?
This is two words bashed together, the first is Crypto, from the word cryptography. We use it in the word in encrypted. In the easiest terms, its a secret way of writing using math or patterns to keep a message safe. Currency is a system of money. Cryptocurrency uses some pretty heavy computer math to keep it secure and to generate new value.
A Deeper Dive
Cryptocurrency is a digital/virtual currency that uses decentralized control as opposition to electronic money and the central banking system. Every different cryptocurrency’s decentralized control works through a blockchain. Blockchain is a new way of sharing information across a public database.
Bitcoin was the first decentralized cryptocurrency to enter the market in 2009. There are now over 1500 altcoins and growing such as Litecoin and Ethereum.
As cryptocurrencies increase in popularity, more miners join the network. This makes it harder for individuals to mine for cryptocurrencies. One solution that miners have come up with is to work together in mining pools.