What is Cryptocurrency?

A cryptocurrency (or crypto currency) is a digital asset designed to work as a statement of exchange that uses strong cryptography to secure financial transactions, control the creation of additional units, and verify the transfer of assets. Cryptocurrencies use decentralized control as exposed to centralized digital currency and central banking systems.

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The decentralized control of each cryptocurrency works within distributed ledger technology, typically a blockchain, that serves as a public financial transaction database.

Bitcoin, first released as open-source software in 2009, is also considered the first decentralized cryptocurrency. Since the release of bitcoin, over 4,000 altcoins (alternative variants of bitcoin, or other cryptocurrencies) have been created.