You may know all about cryptocurrency, you may have heard of it or you may know absolutely nothing. Here are the key points:
Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency; it went public in 2009. There are now over 4,000 different cryptocurrencies. This is an umbrella term that refers to tokens and coins. Not all ‘cryptocurrencies’ are used for trading or payment. Tokens such as Ethereum are designed almost like the App Store so that other users can build upon them for business contracts, for example.
Cryptocurrencies use encryption (cryptography) to produce money and to verify transactions. These transactions are added to a public ledger, also known as a Transaction Blockchain. Unlike traditional fiat currencies (which are usually backed by some central government) such as Pound Sterling, the value is entirely based on the utility the coin will create hence the massive increase we have seen in the value of cryptocurrencies. New coins are retrieved through a process known as ‘mining’.