ALERT

[FREE DEMO] Deploy Your Enterprise Cloud in Minutes

Cryptocurrency

Definition - What does Cryptocurrency mean?

Cryptocurrency is a type of digital currency that uses cryptography for security and anti-counterfeiting measures. Public and private keys are often used to transfer cryptocurrency between individuals.

As a counter-culture movement that is often connected to cypherpunks, cryptocurrency is essentially a fiat currency. This means users must reach a consensus about cryptocurrency's value and use it as an exchange medium. However, because it is not tied to a particular country, its value is not controlled by a central bank. With bitcoin, the leading functioning example of cryptocurrency, value is determined by market supply and demand, meaning that it behaves much like precious metals, like silver and gold.

Techopedia explains Cryptocurrency

Gavin Andresen, bitcoin's technical lead, told Forbes.com that cryptocurrency is designed to bring back a "decentralized currency of the people," taking centralized banks out of the equation. Because bitcoins must be cryptographically signed each time they are transferred, each bitcoin user has both public and individual private keys.

Cryptocurrency transactions are anonymous, untraceable and have created a niche for illegal transactions, like drug trafficking. Because the currency has no central repository, law enforcement and payment processors have no jurisdiction over bitcoin accounts. For cryptocurrency supporters, this anonymity is a primary strength of this technology, despite the potential for illegal abuse, as it enables a shift in power from institutions to individuals.

Techopedia Deals

Connect with us

Techopedia on Linkedin
Techopedia on Linkedin
Tweat cdn.techopedia.com
"Techopedia" on Twitter


'@Techopedia'
Sign up for Techopedia's Free Newsletter!

Email Newsletter

Join thousands of others with our weekly newsletter

Resources
The 4th Era of IT Infrastructure: Superconverged Systems
The 4th Era of IT Infrastructure: Superconverged Systems:
Learn the benefits and limitations of the 3 generations of IT infrastructure – siloed, converged and hyperconverged – and discover how the 4th...
Approaches and Benefits of Network Virtualization
Approaches and Benefits of Network Virtualization:
Businesses today aspire to achieve a software-defined datacenter (SDDC) to enhance business agility and reduce operational complexity. However, the...
Free E-Book: Public Cloud Guide
Free E-Book: Public Cloud Guide:
This white paper is for leaders of Operations, Engineering, or Infrastructure teams who are creating or executing an IT roadmap.
Free Tool: Virtual Health Monitor
Free Tool: Virtual Health Monitor:
Virtual Health Monitor is a free virtualization monitoring and reporting tool for VMware, Hyper-V, RHEV, and XenServer environments.
Free 30 Day Trial – Turbonomic
Free 30 Day Trial – Turbonomic:
Turbonomic delivers an autonomic platform where virtual and cloud environments self-manage in real-time to assure application performance.