Cryptocurrency is a type of decentralised digital money that is protected by cryptography and is based on blockchain technology. To comprehend cryptocurrency, one must first comprehend three concepts: blockchain, decentralisation, and cryptography.

In the context of cryptocurrency, blockchain is a digital ledger with access restricted to authorised users. This ledger keeps track of transactions involving a variety of assets, such as money, real estate, and even intellectual property.

The access is shared between its users and any information shared is transparent, immediate, and "immutable". Immutable means anything that blockchain records is there for good and cannot be modified or tampered with – even by an administrator.

Centralized money is regular money that is governed by authorities such as the Reserve Bank of India. Because cryptocurrency is decentralised, there is no similar authority that can be held accountable for overseeing the rise and fall of a specific cryptocurrency. This has numerous advantages over centralised money.

Among these advantages are the following:

  1. Currency owners do not need to "trust" a single governing entity because everyone in the network has access to the same information that cannot be changed.
  2. Data is only accessible to network users, and it is heavily secured. Shared ownership also implies that all users sign off on the accuracy of the data, implying that there is very little room for data mismanagement or miscommunication. Consider it a democracy.
  3. Security is an essential component of a blockchain.

Cryptography is the use of encryption techniques to protect data from unauthorised access. The majority of blockchain's claims, such as privacy and immutability, are enabled by cryptography.

The origins of cryptocurrency technology can be traced back to the 1980s, when a "blinding algorithm" was invented. The algorithm is concerned with secure and irreversible digital transactions. It is still essential to modern digital currency.

In 2008, a group of people (currently known under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto) developed the guiding principles for Bitcoin, the first and leading cryptocurrency on the market today. Bitcoin was introduced to the public in 2009. However, it would be years before it was formally recognised as a payment method by major merchants, beginning with WordPress in 2012.

The underlying blockchain technology is now used in banking, insurance, and other business sectors. The cryptocurrency market is expected to reach $4.94 billion by 2030, thanks to the need to improve the efficiency of today's payment systems, an increase in global remittances, and an increased need to secure data.

How Does Cryptocurrency Work?

The government or central regulatory authorities have no control over cryptocurrencies. As a concept, cryptocurrency operates outside of the banking system, employing various brands or types of coins, the most prominent of which is Bitcoin.

1. Mining

Cryptocurrencies (which are completely digital) are generated through a process called "mining". This is a difficult procedure. In essence, miners must solve mathematical puzzles on specially equipped computer systems in order to be rewarded with bitcoins.

In an ideal world, a person could mine one bitcoin in 10 minutes, but the process takes an estimated 30 days.

2. Purchase, sale, and storage

Users can now buy or sell cryptocurrencies from central exchanges, brokers, and individual currency owners. The simplest way to buy or sell cryptocurrencies is through exchanges or platforms such as Coinbase.

Cryptocurrencies can be stored in digital wallets once purchased. Digital wallets can be hot or cold. When a wallet is hot, it is connected to the internet, making it easy to transact but vulnerable to theft and fraud. Cold storage, on the other hand, is safer but makes transactions more difficult.

3. Dealing or investing

Bitcoins, for example, can be easily transferred from one digital wallet to another using only a smartphone. Once you have them, you have the option of:

a) Spend them on goods or services

b) exchange them

c) convert them to cash

The simplest way to use Bitcoin for purchases is through debit-card-type transactions. These debit cards can also be used to withdraw cash, just like an ATM. It is also possible to convert cryptocurrency to cash using banking accounts or peer-to-peer transactions.