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Cryptocurrency is a digital media exchange which uses cryptography and shared transaction ledgers to create a secure, anonymous, traceable and potentially stable monetary system. 

The word anonymous and traceable used here means two different things. Unlike Bank Accounts that the funds in it can be attributed to a particular person whose Name appeared on the Account. In crypto world, Account Numbers are Addresses which can be attributed to a particular person. So, it's anonymous because you cant know who owns an account even if he scammed you and it's traceable because all the funds going in and out of the account is visible through the public ledger known as (blockchain)

Crypto, the prefix of cryptocurrency and cryptography comes from the Greek word kruptos, which denotes "secret". Cryptocurrency takes its name from cryptography.

Cryptography is the study of the methodologies used in encrypting information, basically, with the goal or purpose of sending a message securely and privately but also for tasks such as data security and authentication.  Cryptocurrency incorporates many of the technologies and theories developed by cryptographers in order to create a digital money exchange system that is resistant to both censorship and fraud.

Over 20 years ago, there had been several approaches in creating a decentralized currency that would rely on cryptographic protocols and distributed networks. However, it is only when Bitcoin has launched that the idea was able to be to gain ground and started to attract multiple crypto users all over the globe.

Globally, bitcoin is the most popular and widely used cryptocurrency. Consequently, there exists thousands of cryptocurrencies with various levels of popularity, value and originality. 

Bitcoin is not the only cryptocurrency that exists, there are other cryptocurrencies that most often is referred to as "altcoins". There are many altcoins that are clones of Bitcoin system, the most successful altcoins tend to have a unique offer or advantage over Bitcoin. The examples of other popular and successful cryptocurrencies are, Etherum, Ripple, Litecoin, and Dogecoin.

Cryptocurrencies are backed by mathematics rather than the work of a government or financial institution, its free from any political influence too. Cryptocurrency like all currencies still depends on their perceived value, however, their scarcity is based on mathematics and cannot be adjusted by any group or person. They are neither tied to the availability of physical goods, such as diamond or gold nor can they be artificially created by governments or financial institutions like dollars.

Cryptocurrencies use a distributed network to allow for a p2p (peer-to-peer) transaction system without the need for third parties. In order to make this secure, cryptocurrencies utilize mathematical algorithms and a public ledger popularly know as (Blockchain)

And also to ensure every transaction is legitimate, complex mathematical equations are used to link each account with the amount of virtual currency the account holder would like to spend. Miners herein, dedicate their computing resources to solve these equations and are generally rewarded with a certain amount of cryptocurrency.

Cryptocurrencies have been notoriously unstable because their market size is still somewhat small. As the market cap for cryptocurrencies grows, their stability will too. Once this happens, cryptocurrencies will have the potential to be more stable than fiat currencies.

Cryptocurrencies are designed to be naturally rare, and their inflation grows at a slow, controlled rate. This potentially gives them more stability than currencies where governments and or financial institutions can simply “add a few zeros” to devalue or make a currency more valuable.

Cryptocurrencies have the potential to change the financial world and its crystal clear it already have. Bitcoin was the first, remains the largest, the most used and has the best chance at achieving mainstream adoption, but there are plenty others cryptocurrencies with innovations that should not be ignored.
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