The definition of a cryptocurrency is ‘a form of digital currency based on blockchain and protected by cryptography’. In general, money can be physical and tangible, as in the case of the banknotes and coins we keep in our wallets. However, it can also be entirely digital like cryptocurrencies. One should not confuse cryptocurrencies with fiat currencies that can be exchanged virtually: our online bank accounts can transfer money digitally but this always involves fiat. However, coins, a type of cryptocurrency, share the properties of money: they are medium of exchange, store of value and unit of account.

Cryptocurrencies in a nutshell, unlike all other currencies, are not issued by governments but by private individuals via an algorithm. Cryptocurrencies are currencies generated and managed by mathematical functions and therefore not susceptible to arbitrary decisions. Algorithms ensure transparency and impartiality. It follows that cryptocurrencies are peer-to-peer: they do not require intermediaries but are sent from ‘peer’ to ‘peer’, i.e. they are exchanged between participants in the same network. Cryptocurrencies, in fact, can be exchanged between users through the payment of small fees and no third-party entities are needed. Cryptocurrencies are therefore independent of governments and banks: this makes them global, as do their economic systems, i.e. without geographical or legal borders. Developing cryptocurrencies is possible thanks to the blockchain, a distributed digital ledger on a decentralised network of nodes. 

The etymology of cryptocurrency refers to the technology on which it is based, namely cryptography. This guarantees the privacy of users and the security of the blockchain in which all transaction data is transcribed. Specifically, the cryptography that is used by cryptocurrencies is called public key cryptography. 

The origin of cryptocurrencies dates back to the late 1990s, during which time the idea of electronic and anonymous crypto-based currencies was developed. Although earlier experiments existed, the first truly adopted and recognised cryptocurrency was only developed in 2009: Bitcoin. From this year onwards, many other cryptocurrencies with different characteristics and functions have emerged; these have been dubbed ‘altcoins’, or ‘alternative coins’, compared to Bitcoin as the first standard. The best known of the altcoins is ether (ETH), the coin on the Ethereum blockchain, second to Bitcoin in market cap.

Cryptocurrencies can be of two types: coin or token, which are distinguished by the nature of the link to the blockchain on which they are based. Indeed, a coin is a cryptocurrency native to a blockchain, while a token is based on an existing blockchain created by a third party. Another criterion for categorising cryptocurrencies is the consensus mechanism used by their blockchain, mainly Proof-of-Work or Proof-of-Stake.

Correlated words


Hawkish monetary policies involve raising interest rates to combat inflation, prioritising monetary stability and economic control.


Dovish monetary policy is characterised by low-interest rates and higher employment levels, aiming to stimulate and foster economic growth.


Registries are organizations overseeing the administration and management of top-level domain information on the internet.


A URL (Uniform Resource Locator) is a unique string of characters that provides the address of a specific resource on the World Wide Web.

IP address

An IP Address is a unique numerical label assigned to each device connected to a network, identifying it for communication purposes.

Web 3.0

Web 3.0, often linked to the Semantic Web, signifies the next evolution of the internet, emphasizing data interoperability and user control.


ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) manages the global domain name system and IP address allocation.


Registrars are organizations responsible for the registration and management of domain names on the internet.


The Domain Name System (DNS) is a hierarchical structure that maps domain names to their corresponding IP addresses on the internet.


The Top-Level Domain (TLD) is the highest part of the domain name structure, appearing at the end of web addresses.

Financial Market

The Financial Market is a structured space for trading financial securities, including stocks, bonds, and other investment vehicles.


Cashback is a reward program where a portion of the amount spent on a transaction is returned to the spender.


Web3 marks the third evolution of the web, characterised by a shift in the economic and technological landscape driven by blockchain.


Bitcoin is the first and most enduring cryptocurrency, introducing blockchain technology as a revolutionary digital ledger system.

Wallet address

The Wallet address is a unique string of characters identifying a cryptocurrency wallet for transactions and asset management.


Stablecoins are cryptocurrencies whose value is pegged to stable assets like fiat currencies or precious metals, aiming to reduce volatility.


Custody in cryptocurrency involves managing a wallet by oneself, ensuring control over the associated private key.

White Paper

A White paper is a detailed document used by crypto projects to outline their technological innovations and proposals.


A Wallet is a digital software designed for securely sending, receiving, and storing various cryptocurrencies.

Virtual Currency

Virtual Currency is a legal term encompassing digital currencies, including cryptocurrencies, used in various financial transactions.

Fiat Currency

Fiat Currency is government-issued legal tender, not backed by physical commodities, serving as the standard medium of exchange.


A Token is a digital asset created on an existing blockchain, representing value or utility within its native ecosystem.

Satoshi Nakamoto

Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous creator(s) of Bitcoin, remains a mystery with no known true identity and no current online presence.


Open-source software offers publicly accessible source code, allowing collaborative use, modification, and distribution.


KYC (Know Your Customer) is an identity verification process mandated by European regulations for Financial intermediaries.

Hard Fork

A Hard Fork represents a significant split in a blockchain due to protocol incompatibilities between new and existing versions.

Hot Wallet

A Hot Wallet is a cryptocurrency wallet that remains connected to the internet, offering easy access and management of digital assets.


Halving refers to the event where the reward given to miners for producing blocks on the Bitcoin blockchain is cut in half.


FinTech combines finance and technology, where companies innovate in financial services using advanced technological solutions.


Cryptography, a crucial component of secure communication, is the study and application of techniques for protecting information.


A Coin is a primary form of cryptocurrency that operates independently on its blockchain, serving various transactional purposes.

Public Key

A Public Key is a unique cryptographic code for identifying a blockchain cryptocurrency wallet and is associted with a private kwy..

Private Key

A Private Key is a unique secure cryptographic code granting access to a cryptocurrency wallet and is associated with a public key.


APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) streamline the development of applications and web services by integrating functionalities.


Altcoins are cryptocurrencies launched after Bitcoin, offering alternative blockchain-based solutions and functionalities.


Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulations are designed to prevent illegal activities and financial crimes in centralised exchanges.


An algorithm is a set of procedures or rules designed to perform specific tasks or solve problems integral to software development.


Exchanges provide services for buying and selling digital assets, operating on market-driven prices and facilitating cryptocurrency trade.

Download the Young Platform app

Downaload From Google PlayStoreDownaload From Apple Store