What is Cryptocurrency and How Does it Work?

Cryptocurrency, now a globally acknowledged peer-to-peer exchange system, relies on cryptography for secure exchange. As the world embraces digital transformation, cryptocurrency represents the next money evolution is undergoing.

Cryptocurrency currencies take the concept of money, and they take it native into computers, where everything is settled with computers and doesn’t require external institutions or trusted third parties to validate things.
Naval Ravikant – CEO & Founder AngelList

Governments, prominent software companies, and banks are increasingly recognizing the insatiable value in cryptocurrencies. Every transaction in the p2p network is immediately visible to the entire network, eliminating the need for intermediary third parties.

Note: In Cryptocurrency, confirmation of a transaction is a crucial step. Once completed, a transaction cannot be forged or reversed.
Read more on Blockchain.

What Cryptocurrency Miners Do

While everyone can take up the role of cryptocurrency mining, certain business organizations have invested in computers chips uniquely engineered for this. Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin’s founder, set requirements for interested parties; they had to show proof-of-work by investing their time and computing power.

Solve a cryptographic puzzle and you would earn several cryptocurrency units. To guard against creation of excess cryptocurrencies, the system can only produce a limited number of units within a given time frame.

Cryptocurrency Revolutionary Properties

By keeping a consensus of balances and accounts (a ledger), cryptocurrencies foster peer-to-peer transactions in ways which conventional banks simply can’t. Unlike banks where figures can be tampered with and accounts suspended, no entity has such authority over individual cryptocurrency monies.

Transactional Properties Attributed To Cryptocurrencies


Neither accounts nor transactions share connectivity with real-world entities. Cryptocurrency is sent through an “address”, approximately 30 characters long. While it is possible to analyze the flow of transactions, real-world addresses and identities remain hidden.


You don’t require anyone’s permission when accessing and using your cryptocurrencies. The software can freely be downloaded by anyone and utilized at any time. With no gatekeeper, you are free to transact with as many cryptocurrencies types as there are.


All cryptocurrency funds are secured with a publicly accessible cryptography system. As the owner of your private key, transactions can only proceed with your direct authorization. The big numbers and strong cryptography used make cryptocurrency virtually impossible to compromise.


Once a cryptocurrency transaction has been confirmed, it cannot be reversed. It is therefore advisable to take extra precaution when transferring your units to a peer. The open ledger is accessible to and monitored by all users, limiting risk and corruption.

Fast and Worldwide:

Within the network, authorized transactions are propagated almost instantaneously; confirmation only takes minutes at most! This happens on a global scale, with computers working together regardless of their physical locations. This enables creation of a digital ledger.

Cryptocurrency Monetary Properties

Controlled Supply:

To remain viable, legit cryptocurrencies limit the number of tokens in circulation. Bitcoin, for instance, is projected to arrive at its final number approximately around 2140. This is as per the schedule written within the code. Future monetary supply can be calculated today.

No debt, but bearer:

Are you aware that money in your bank account is created through issuing debt? The open ledger in cryptocurrencies represents no debt, with the money being as good as gold coins.

Understanding the revolutionary power behind cryptocurrencies requires consideration of both property sets. Governments are wary of accepting this change, owing to the multiple advantages cryptocurrencies have over traditional monetary policies.

The power to control inflation and deflation, which central banks achieve through monetary supply manipulation, is decentralized in cryptocurrencies. The entire network responds collectively.

The Dawn of a Fresh Economic Order

With their revolutionary capability, cryptocurrencies have surpassed their inventor’s wildest dreams. Though many other attempts at digital currencies failed in the nineties, Bitcoin provoked incredible fascination and enthusiasm by 2008.

As digital gold, cryptocurrencies are secure from political manipulation. Over time, the currencies preserve and gain even more value. If the late 2017 Bitcoin surge is anything to go by, cryptocurrencies will soon go mainstream!

Fast Growing, Dynamic Markets

Quite frankly, cryptocurrencies have been used as payment in outlawed products, services, and markets. Many exchanges, however, deal in clean cryptocurrency trading as a means of making the digital currency more accessible to internet users.

In some of these markets, gross daily exchanges surpass those of European stock exchanges. In their early stages, cryptocurrencies experience volatile growth amidst speculation and mistrust.

Here are the most revered cryptocurrencies currently;


Undoubtedly the most renowned cryptocurrency, Bitcoin is at its best, valued at slightly over a whopping $14,000! As the digital gold-standard in this industry, a lot rides on how Bitcoin fares in the years to come.

The transaction volume keeps on growing, an eventuality which has led to Bitcoin being diversified to reach a wider demographic.

Bitcoin won’t be withering away any time soon.

Bitcoin is here to stay. There would be a hacker uproar to anyone who attempted to take credit for the patent of cryptocurrency. And I wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of hacker fury.
Adam Draper – CEO Boost VC


In cryptocurrency circles, this might be the least popular and used options. The native XPR being used poses many limiting challenges. It is more of a system designed to secure IOUs rather than one for generating real cryptocurrency, usable in financial transactions.

This might explain why banks take on Ripple with less restrictions; they exercise more control over it!


Coming closely after the invention of Bitcoin, this cryptocurrency is faster in transaction, with a higher amount of tokens available. From its codebase, several other cryptocurrencies sprung up, diversifying the choices for consumers even further.

Lighter versions stemming from Litecoin include lesser-known Feathercoin and Dogecoin.


Ethereum not only processes transactions but also secures complex programs and contracts. In blockchain application, Ethereum passes as the perfect instrument due to its unmatched flexibility. However, a DAO Hack forced the emergence of Ethereum Classic.

Branching out from a single entity, Ethereum is now a conglomerate of smaller cryptocurrencies.

“When I came up with Ethereum, my first first thought was, ‘Okay, this thing is too good to be true.’ As it turned out, the core Ethereum idea was good – fundamentally, completely sound.”
Vitalik Buterin – Co-founder Ethereum

Investing in Cryptocurrencies

When it was first traded in 2009, the first successful cryptocurrency was valued at under $1. By 2014, this had grown to a commendable $1,000. Bitcoin, however, saw the biggest valuation in 2017, with its value shooting to $14,000.

Speculators worldwide, more than ever, are eager to invest in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. In comparison with the global financial market, cryptocurrencies still take up a negligible proportion.

“We are seeing more managed money and, to an extent, institutional money entering the space. Anecdotally speaking, I know of many people who are working at hedge funds or other investment managers who are trading cryptocurrency personally, the question is, when do people start doing it with their firms and funds?”
Olaf Carlson-Wee – CEO & Founder Polychain Capital

Cryptocurrency in conclusion

With many vendors purporting to deal with cryptocurrency solutions, it is important to be dilligent.  Cryptocurrency investors should always have a secure, flexible wallet in impeccable working condition.

Which cryptocurrency have you taken an interest in?