What are Cryptocurrencies?
Cryptocurrencies are digital or virtual currencies that use cryptography for security. They can be exchanged or speculated on just like any traditional – or ‘fiat’ – currency, but they exist outside the control of financial institutions and governments.
Many cryptocurrencies are decentralized systems based on blockchain technology, a distributed ledger enforced by a disparate network of computers.
The first blockchain-based cryptocurrency was Bitcoin, which still remains the most popular and most valuable. Today, there are thousands of alternate cryptocurrencies with various functions or specifications.
There’s a massive number of cryptocurrencies available, all with unique features and applications. But those with a substantial market capitalization are – at least for now – in the minority, and they include bitcoin, bitcoin cash, ether, litecoin, ripple, and dash.