Cryptocurrency is the medium of exchange like normal currencies such as USD EUR HKD RMB etc, but designed for the purpose of exchanging digital information through a process made possible by certain principles of cryptography. It is a form of digital money. Many always refer Bitcoin as the only virtual money, but it is just the tip of the iceberg.
Today cryptocurrencies have become a global phenomenon known to most people. While still somehow geeky and not understood by some people, banks, governments and many companies are aware of its importance. In 2016, you’ll have a hard time finding a major bank, a big accounting firm, a prominent software company or even a government that did not research cryptocurrencies, publish a paper or start a so called blockchain-project.
But beyond the noise and the press releases the overwhelming majority of people-even bankers, consultants, scientists and developers, have a very limited knowledge about cryptocurrencies. They even fail to understand the basic concepts.
Few people know, but cryptocurrencies emerged as a side product of another invention. Satoshi Nakamoto, the unknown inventor of Bitcoin, the first and still most importance cryptocurrency, never intend to invent a currency at that point of time.
In his announcement of Bitcoin in the late 2008, Satoshi said he develop ‘A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System.’ His goal was to invent something: many people failed to create before digital cash. It is to prevent double-spending. It’s completely decentralized with no servers or central authority.
The single most importance part of his invention was that he found a way to build decentralized digital cash system. In the nineties, there have been many attempts to create digital money, but they failed. This decision became the birth of cryptocurrency. They are the missing piece Satoshi found to realize digital cash.