What is cryptocurrency? A beginner’s guide to digital currency

The image shows some crypto coins on a table

Cryptocurrency has been a buzzword in recent years due to how it works. It’s digital and decentralized, meaning it’s not controlled by a central authority like a bank or government. 

Instead, these currencies are created and managed through cryptography: A technique for secure communication that sends data between users without the need for a middleman. 

That is the reason why they are often used for online transactions and investment purposes. However, they have been known to experience rapid price fluctuations and it can be both a benefit and a disadvantage. Thus, it’s important you get to know them before using them.

If you want to learn more about cryptocurrency, you are in the right place! We have created this article for beginners that want to know how they work, currency types and what advantages they have. Follow us through the reading!

How does cryptocurrency work?

Cryptocurrencies are created through a process called mining that involves solving complex mathematical equations to validate transactions on the blockchain. Which is a public ledger that records all transactions made using a particular cryptocurrency.

When a transaction is made, it’s verified by a network of users who use their computing power to solve the equation. Once the equation is solved, the transaction is added to the blockchain, and the user who solved the equation is rewarded with a small amount of the cryptocurrency.

The blockchain ensures that transactions are secure and transparent, as every transaction is recorded and cannot be altered or deleted. This makes cryptocurrencies ideal for online transactions, as they are fast, secure, and inexpensive.

Why are cryptocurrencies so volatile?

Cryptocurrencies are known for their volatile nature, as their prices can fluctuate rapidly over short periods of time. This is due to a number of factors that include market demand, investor sentiment, and regulatory changes.

Being decentralized and not controlled by a central authority, they are more susceptible to market forces and sentiment than traditional currencies. Additionally, the supply of most cryptocurrencies is limited, which can drive up demand and cause price increases.

The image shows different types of cryptos

Types of cryptocurrency

There are thousands of different cryptocurrencies available, each with its own unique characteristics and uses. Some of the most popular cryptocurrencies include Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Ripple.

  • Bitcoin. This was the first cryptocurrency and is still the most widely used. It’s often used as a store of value and a medium of exchange, and its limited supply has made it a popular investment choice.
  • Ethereum. Another popular cryptocurrency, which is often used for decentralized applications and smart contracts. It has a larger supply than Bitcoin and is considered more versatile.
  • Litecoin. This cryptocurrency is often used for online transactions, as it is faster and cheaper than Bitcoin. It’s more accessible to casual investors, as its price is typically lower than that of Bitcoin.
  • Ripple. A cryptocurrency that is often used for cross-border payments, as it is designed to facilitate fast and inexpensive transfers between different currencies.

Advantages of cryptocurrency

There are many advantages to using cryptocurrency over traditional currencies. If you’re looking the benefits of using them, take a look to the following ones:

  1. Decentralization. Cryptocurrencies are not controlled by a central authority, which means they are not subject to government or banking regulations.
  2. Security. They are highly secure, as transactions are recorded on the blockchain and cannot be altered or deleted.
  3. Speed. Cryptocurrency transactions are typically faster than traditional bank transfers, as they do not require intermediaries.
  4. Low fees. These types of transactions are typically less expensive than traditional bank transfers, as they do not require intermediaries.
  5. Accessibility. Cryptocurrencies are accessible to anyone with an internet connection, making them a more inclusive financial system.

What is a blockchain in cryptocurrency?

A blockchain is a digital ledger that records all transactions made using a particular cryptocurrency. It’s decentralized and public, which means that anyone can view the transactions that have been made on it.

The blockchain is created through a process called mining, which involves solving complex mathematical equations to validate transactions. Once a transaction is validated, it’s added to the blockchain and cannot be altered or deleted.

This ensures the security and transparency of cryptocurrency transactions, as every transaction is recorded on the ledger and can be verified by anyone. Something that makes it virtually impossible for fraud or double-spending to occur.

The image shows some office tools on a tablet and you can read the word blockchain

Blockchain vs. cryptocurrency: Are they the same?

While blockchain and cryptocurrency are often used interchangeably, they are not the same thing. Blockchain is the technology that enables cryptocurrency transactions, while cryptocurrency is a type of digital currency that uses blockchain technology.

The blockchain is used to create a public ledger of all transactions made using a particular cryptocurrency; and cryptocurrency is used as a medium of exchange, store of value, or investment asset.

How can you buy cryptocurrency?

Buying cryptocurrency is relatively easy, as it can be done through online exchanges or brokers. Here are the basic steps to buying cryptocurrency:

  1. Choose a cryptocurrency exchange or broker. There are many available, so try to choose one that is reputable and has good customer reviews.
  2. Create an account. Once you have chosen an exchange or broker, you need to create an account and provide the necessary identification and payment information.
  3. Choose a cryptocurrency. Choose the cryptocurrency you want to buy and the amount you want to spend.
  4. Place an order to buy the cryptocurrency. Either at the current market price or at a specific price.
  5. Store your cryptocurrency. Finally, store your cryptocurrency in a digital wallet to keep it safe and secure.

What is cryptocurrency mining and how does it work?

Cryptocurrency mining is the process of validating transactions on the blockchain and adding them to the ledger. This is done through solving complex mathematical equations, which requires a lot of computational power.

Miners use specialized hardware and software to solve these equations and validate transactions. Once a transaction is validated, it is added to the blockchain, and the miner is rewarded with a small amount of the cryptocurrency.

Cryptocurrency mining is an essential part of the cryptocurrency ecosystem, as it ensures the security and transparency of transactions on the blockchain.

What is staking in cryptocurrency?

Staking is a process used by some cryptocurrencies to validate transactions and secure the network. It involves holding a certain amount of the cryptocurrency and using it to verify transactions on the blockchain.

It’s different from mining, as it does not require specialized hardware or software. Instead, staking is done through a digital wallet, which holds the cryptocurrency and validates transactions on the blockchain.

Staking is often used by cryptocurrencies that use a proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus algorithm, as opposed to the proof-of-work (PoW) algorithm used by Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

What is market capitalization in cryptocurrency?

Market capitalization is a measure of the total value of a particular cryptocurrency. It is calculated by multiplying the current market price of the cryptocurrency by the total number of coins or tokens in circulation.

Market capitalization is an important metric for investors, as it provides a snapshot of the cryptocurrency’s overall value and popularity. Cryptocurrencies with a high market capitalization are generally considered to be more stable and less volatile than those with a lower market capitalization.


Cryptocurrency is a revolutionary technology that has the potential to transform the way we conduct financial transactions. It is decentralized, secure, transparent, and offers several advantages over traditional currencies.

While cryptocurrency is accessible, inclusive, and offers exciting opportunities for investors and innovators, it can also be volatile and complex. Thus, making uninformed decisions can be very dangerous.

As the cryptocurrency ecosystem continues to evolve, it’s important to stay updated and educated about this groundbreaking technology. This way, you can fully realize its potential and make the best investment decisions.

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