Crypto is the abbreviation of the term “cryptocurrency.” Crypto is a form of digital currency that uses cryptographic security and encryption to secure itself along a public ledger or blockchain.
The idea for cryptocurrency first came from cryptographer David Chaum in 1983, who released an early form of crypto called eCash in the 1990s. But the concept of cryptocurrency as we know it, wouldn’t emerge until Satoshi Nakamoto’s 2008 Bitcoin whitepaper, titled: “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System.”
In this paper, we see the key elements of cryptocurrency as we commonly know them.
What is Crypto For?
Crypto is designed to be a currency that uses a public ledger of transactions that are not controlled by a central authority, financial institution or government. It achieves this by sharing the public ledger of its transactions amongst a vast network, or “chain” of decentralised “nodes.”
These nodes are computers that take part in the network, each validating and authenticating actions throughout the blockchain and amongst each other. This is what gives cryptocurrency its security and transparency, as no one actor can alter the chain.
Today there are more than 12,000 cryptocurrencies in existence, used daily by millions of people for buying, selling, trading and newer emerging services like DeFi, NFTs and gaming.