A cryptocurrency is a digital currency that uses a blockchain and relies on cryptography for security.
Many are based on public blockchain technology, a distributed ledger of all transactions that is decentralized and can’t be changed under most circumstances.
The nature of the blockchain means that individuals can transact directly with each other, even if they don’t trust each other.
Unlike traditional currencies, such as the U.S. dollar, they are not controlled by any central government or authority.
Cryptocurrencies don’t need a centralized party like a bank to carry out transactions between individuals.
Cryptography is used to keep transactions secure and to control the creation of additional units of a currency.
Bitcoin is considered the first cryptocurrency and is currently, the largest and most famous, out of the more than 1,600 cryptocurrencies now available on the interwebz.