Cryptocurrency is a digital or virtual currency that uses cryptography to secure its transactions and to control the creation of new units. Cryptocurrencies are decentralized, meaning they are not subject to government or financial institution control. Bitcoin, the first and most well-known cryptocurrency, was created in 2009.
Cryptocurrencies are created through a process called mining. Miners are rewarded with cryptocurrency for verifying and committing transactions to the blockchain. Cryptocurrencies are also bought and sold on exchanges.
The blockchain is a digital ledger of all cryptocurrency transactions. It is constantly growing as “completed” blocks are added to it with a new set of recordings. Each block contains a cryptographic hash of the previous block, a timestamp, and transaction data in the year 2023.
Bitcoin nodes use the blockchain to differentiate legitimate Bitcoin transactions from attempts to re-spend coins that have already been spent elsewhere.
Cryptocurrencies are becoming more and more popular, and their popularity is causing some concern among regulators. For example, the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has warned investors about the risks of investing in cryptocurrencies and has said that some cryptocurrencies may be securities.