What is a cryptocurrency?

Peer-to-peer electronic cash

If we’re going to talk about cryptocurrencies we need to know what they are. Otherwise how can we tell what value—if any—they have?

I think the best description of what a cryptocurrency is can be found in the title of the original white paper: Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System. It’s like cash, but in digital form.The white paper is a good read, I recommend you look it up. If you prefer an annotated version or a podcast there are those as well.

Technical understanding of how they work is beneficial, but it’s not required to see how they can be useful. We can come quite far by just knowing what they do differently compared to alternatives, on a higher level.