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News Digest / Analysis & Ideas / What is a cryptocurrency, and why should you care?

What is a cryptocurrency, and why should you care?

07:12am, Monday, Jul 04, 2022

Cryptocurrency is a digital or virtual asset that uses cryptography for security.

Cryptocurrencies are all the rage right now, and for a good reason. Crypto represents a new way of thinking about money and transactions. But what are cryptocurrencies, exactly? And why should you care? In this blog post, we will explore the world of cryptocurrency and answer your questions.

What is cryptocurrency?

There are quite a few definitions of crypto, but the meaning is often very similar.

Cryptocurrency is a digital or virtual asset that uses cryptography for security.

Cryptocurrencies are decentralized. It means they are not subject to government or financial institution control.

Cryptocurrencies are often traded on decentralized exchanges and can also be used to purchase goods and services.

This currency has a specific monetary policy, such as a fixed token limit or permission to create new tokens based on predetermined rules.

How does crypto work?

Cryptocurrencies work using a technology called a blockchain.
A blockchain is a digital ledger of all crypto transactions. It frequently grows as "completed" blocks are added with a new set of recordings. Every block contains a cryptographic hash of the previous block, a timestamp, and transaction data.

Blockchains are secure by design and impossible to tamper with. This makes crypto ideal for storing value and conducting transactions without needing a third party, such as a bank or government institution. To complete a transaction on the blockchain, users agree to pay a small fee that helps keep the blockchain secure and functioning.

Just imagine the situation: you want to send your friend a few Dogecoins. You create a transaction using your crypto wallet and request to send your Dogecoins to your friend's wallet. For that, you are paying a nominal transaction fee. After you request such a transaction, it is getting grouped with other transactions into a block on the Dogecoin blockchain. When miners verify it and post it to the blockchain, the transaction will be complete.

Who are crypto miners, and what do they do?

Miners are an essential part of the crypto ecosystem. They generate new crypto, provide network security, and process transactions. In return, they are earning cryptocurrency.

The process of mining is how new crypto tokens are created. Miners use powerful computers to solve complex math problems that verify crypto transactions. When a transaction is confirmed, it is added to a block on the blockchain. After that, miners are rewarded. The more computationally power a miner has, the greater their chances of being the first to verify a transaction and earn rewards.

Cryptocurrency mining requires a lot of electricity and can damage the environment if not done sustainably. That's why some companies are exploring ways to use renewable energy sources, like solar and hydropower, to mine crypto.

Why do people like crypto?

Crypto, like everything in this world, has its pros and cons. Most often among the advantages are called:

  • Crypto is decentralized, which means it's not subject to government or financial institution control;
  • Crypto is secure by design and impossible to tamper with;
  • Small transfer fees and high transfer speed.

In a situation where inflation is increasing day by day, cryptocurrency can be a solution to the problem of loss of value. For example, with conventional money, governments can print and restrict the printing of money as they please so that the value can fluctuate from time to time.

As we noted earlier, cryptocurrency has an established monetary policy that no one can change, no matter who they are.

The disadvantages of cryptocurrency include:

  • Difficulty in understanding the processes and the concept;
  • Cryptocurrency volatility can be very high. The cryptocurrency market mostly thrives on speculation, and its relatively small size makes it more vulnerable to price fluctuations;
  • It has serious scalability issues. Due to various technical factors, the blockchain has a limited capacity. This slows down transaction processing speed;
  • Lack of regulation;
  • It is not entirely free from security issues. Various cyber-crooks use hacking, phishing, and other attempts to gain control by malicious means over the crypt of ordinary holders.

It is also worth mentioning that a wallet is a crypto storage device with a public or/and private key. It is essential to protect these keys because if the wallet is lost, it will be impossible to return it.

What are stablecoins and utility tokens?

A stablecoin is a crypto coin that is pegged to another asset, such as the US dollar, gold, or even other cryptocurrencies. The main advantage of stablecoins is that they are not as volatile as regular crypto coins, making them more suitable for everyday use.
Utility tokens are crypto tokens that give holders access to a product or service. They allow users to perform some action on a particular network.

Where to spend cryptocurrency?

Various cryptocurrencies can be used to purchase goods and services online from various merchants. These products include real estate, designer clothing, accessories, games, plane tickets, mobile phones, and even pizza.

There are a few things you should keep in mind when spending crypto:

  • Make sure the merchant accepts crypto;
  • Be aware of the price volatility;
  • Check the transaction fees;
  • Keep your private keys safe.

In addition, you can donate it (mostly Bitcoin) to different nonprofit organizations.

The development of this technology is just beginning to gain momentum, so there are not as many places where you can spend it as there are with regular currency. However, this is changing rapidly, and crypto is becoming more widely accepted.

Trading and Investing.

As usual, you will need a cryptocurrency exchange or online trading platform to make a purchase. And then decide what exactly you would like to do with your coins. When it comes to investing, there are two main strategies:

  • HODL - "hold on for dear life" - buy crypto and wait for its price to grow;
  • Trading - buying crypto with the intention of selling it at a higher price in the future.

One way to make passive income is to lend your assets to other people securely. In exchange for being able to borrow your funds, they will pay you interest.


Cryptocurrency is still in its early stages, but it has great potential. It is a convenient, fast, and secure way to make transactions. In addition, crypto has many other advantages that make it an attractive investment opportunity. However, before investing in crypto, do your research and understand the risks involved.

That's all for now! We hope this article helped you to understand cryptocurrency better. Stay tuned for more blog posts about crypto and other interesting topics! Thanks for reading!

About The Author


StockInvest.us is a stock market research tool that provides daily stock signals and technical analysis for over 25 000 tickers on 38 exchanges. The company was founded in 2016 in Vilnius, Lithuania.