What Is Cryptocurrency and How Does It Work?

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Cryptocurrency has become a buzzword in the modern world. It is a digital currency that, in contrast to fiat money, is intangible, not controlled by any central authorities, and, due to its decentralized nature, not influenced by any governmental manipulations. Moreover, cryptocurrency transactions have proven to be fast, cheap, and highly secure, attracting growing attention from investors, businesses, and normal consumers.

If you have heard about crypto but still don’t know exactly how it works, or you are a professional in the digital currency world who wants to structure your knowledge and dive deeper into the details, read on and find out everything you need to know about cryptocurrency, ways to invest in it, and much more in our article.

Cryptocurrency: Meaning and Definition

Cryptocurrency, or simply crypto, stands for any digital currency that uses cryptography to secure its transactions and control the creation of new units. Unlike traditional fiat currency, such as the US dollar, represented by coins and banknotes, cryptocurrency exists entirely in digital form, making it highly accessible and easy to use. At its core, digital currencies are based on blockchain technology, which is essentially a distributed ledger that allows users to track transactions and verify ownership easily.

What Is Cryptocurrency?

Cryptocurrency is a type of payment system that uses encryption to secure and validate transactions. Unlike fiat currencies, which are backed by governments, or physical commodities, cryptocurrency is entirely decentralized and has no single authority or issuer. Instead, crypto transactions are verified by a group of computers known as miners, who earn small sums of currency in exchange for running complex computational algorithms.

Crypto is becoming increasingly popular nowadays. Many financial experts believe that it represents an exciting new chapter in the world of finance. Here are some of the benefits that make it so appealing:

  1. Decentralization.Cryptocurrencies are not controlled by any central authority. Their value is determined entirely by market supply and demand. 

  2. Enhanced security.Cryptocurrencies rely on complex algorithms and blockchain technology in order to keep transactions safe.

  3. Increased transaction speed. Unlike traditional wire transfers, which can take a couple of days to settle, crypto transactions are completed in a couple of minutes. As soon as the blockchain network confirms the block, the money is available for use.

  4. Relatively low transaction costs.Crypto transactions come with significantly lower fees than other financial operations. One of the key reasons is that digital currencies rely on peer-to-peer networks of users rather than centralized institutions like banks and credit card companies. This enables users to both send and receive funds without needing to pay any intermediaries, which translates directly into a lower cost of processing cryptocurrency transactions.

  5. Accessibility.Cryptocurrency is a universal payment method: anyone can use it. The only requirements are an internet connection, a device (smartphone, laptop, etc.), and a digital wallet, which is in fact much easier to open than a traditional bank account.

  6. Privacy. Cryptographic techniques such as encryption and pseudonymity allow users of cryptocurrency blockchain platforms to maintain high levels of privacy and protect their data from unauthorized access and theft.

How Does Cryptocurrency Work?

Cryptocurrencies are built on a distributed public ledger, which makes them immune to any centralized regulation. The process by which new units of virtual currencies are created is known as cryptocurrency mining, where individuals or groups solve complex computational puzzles to add new blocks to the blockchain ledger.

In order to participate in crypto mining, individuals or businesses must typically sign up for brokerage services with a trusted crypto mining platform. Once their account is set up, miners can begin using powerful computer hardware to process complex cryptographic equations, rewarding them with newly created cryptocurrency units. The public ledger maintained by these platforms allows all parties involved in the mining process to track the movement and value of all units created through it. 

One of the key concepts in crypto mining is the Proof-of-Work (PoW) consensus, which is implemented to validate each new block on the chain, secure the network, and provide confidence in its reliability and integrity. 

In addition to the process called mining based on the PoW mechanism, cryptocurrency also relies on another important concept called Proof-of-Stake, or PoS for short. This protocol allows users to validate transactions on the network using their own computational resources instead of mining equipment. Essentially, the more currency you hold in your digital wallet, the stronger your "stake" in the network becomes, and thus your ability to validate transactions increases.

If you are interested in the crypto space but don’t want to be a miner, you can purchase digital currencies on a great variety of crypto exchanges and brokerage platforms, such as Just2Trade. Once you own some crypto assets, you can store them in a “hot” or “cold” digital wallet or use them for speculating on the rising or falling crypto markets. 

Why Is Cryptocurrency the Future of Finance?

Although there are still many critics who remain skeptical about crypto, there is no doubt that the adoption of cryptocurrency and blockchain technologies is growing rapidly. Across a range of industries, businesses and individuals alike are recognizing the potential benefits of these technologies.

As previously mentioned, cryptocurrency offers a number of key advantages over traditional methods of payment and exchange, including increased security, lower transaction costs, and faster processing speeds. Moreover, this financial instrument can act as a hedge against economic volatility, making it an attractive alternative for those worried about market uncertainty in the future.

Overall, the trend towards widespread crypto adoption holds great promise for a future of finance where more people can easily manage their funds and benefit from multiple exciting applications of this payment method.

Cryptocurrency Examples

In the digital world, there are around 12.000 different cryptocurrencies, and this number is constantly growing. Below we have outlined some of the most popular cryptocurrencies. Let’s have a look at them.


Bitcoin (BTC) is the first and most popular cryptocurrency worldwide. It was launched in 2009 by an anonymous developer or group of developers called Satoshi Nakamoto. BTC is built on the Bitcoin blockchain, which is secured by the PoW consensus mechanism. Thus, new Bitcoin coins are created through the process of mining. Nowadays, Bitcoin remains the largest crypto by market capitalization of around $370.8 billion.


Ethereum is an open-source software platform based on blockchain technology with Ether (ETH) as its native cryptocurrency. One of the key features of Ethereum is its smart contract functionality. Moreover, Ethereum is now in process of moving from the PoW to the PoS consensus mechanism. It is the second largest crypto after Blockchain, which is particularly popular as a host for decentralized finance (DeFi) applications.


Litecoin (LTC) is a digital currency that is very similar to Bitcoin, offering many of the same benefits and uses. Like BTC, Litecoin is a decentralized system, meaning that it is not controlled by any single entity, and the transactions are fast and secure. However, LTC offers some advantages over Bitcoin in terms of transaction fees and confirmation speed. 


Ripple is a virtual currency that was first introduced in 2012. Unlike traditional cryptocurrencies, which are based on complex algorithms and cryptography principles, Ripple is unique in that it is a central currency owned and controlled by a single company. One of the key advantages of this crypto is its speed, with transactions often being confirmed within just a few seconds.

What Is a Blockchain in Cryptocurrency?

Blockchain technology is one of the key components of cryptocurrency. It is a type of distributed ledger technology (DLT), which in turn represents a decentralized database. Thus, a blockchain can be considered a record that stores all the transactions that happen throughout the given network. Each new transaction that takes place is added to the blockchain in the form of a block, with each block containing information about both the sender and recipient as well as the amount of cryptocurrency being transferred. 

One of the main benefits of using blockchain technology is that it allows transactions to be completed more quickly and securely than traditional methods without requiring third-party intermediaries such as banks or financial institutions. Additionally, as data on the blockchain is decentralized amongst users, it can never be altered or modified once it has been added, making it a reliable and accurate source of information. 

What Is a Stablecoin?

As previously mentioned, cryptos are notorious for their high volatility. Thus, another type of digital currency called stablecoin was created that would be immune to price spikes. Unlike many other cryptocurrencies, stablecoins remain relatively constant in their value over a longer timeframe. This is because they are pegged to some external factors, such as fiat currencies (for example, the US dollar) or commodities (for example, gold). Some popular stablecoins include Tether (USDT), USD Coin (USDC), Binance USD (BUSD), and many others.

What Is Cryptocurrency Mining?

Here is the most essential information you need to know about cryptocurrency mining.

  1. Definition. Cryptocurrency mining is the process of verifying transactions on a blockchain network to add them to the digital ledger. This is done by performing complex cryptographic calculations, a process known as hashing. 

  2. Requirements. Mining requires large amounts of energy and computing power. As such, it comes with significant operational costs and environmental impacts. This is why this process of gaining crypto remains an ongoing topic of debate within the industry.

  3. Who can be a miner? Overall, anyone who has a powerful computer and robust internet connection. However, it’s crucial to remember that it may not always be profitable. If the electricity costs are high in the area you are planning to mine, you may spend more than your potential profit from crypto.

  4. Profit. Crypto mining is pegged to the ever-changing value of different cryptocurrencies. This means that as the market fluctuates, so will the profitability of a particular mining operation. Thus, it is crucial to stay abreast of the cryptocurrency market trends and price fluctuations when engaged in crypto mining activities.

How to Buy Cryptocurrency

When it comes to buying cryptocurrency, there are several important factors to consider. Let’s have a closer look at some of them.

Step 1: Choosing a Platform

First, you need to choose a reputable and reliable platform where you can buy cryptocurrency. You will usually have to choose between:

  1. Cryptocurrency exchanges act as a middleman between crypto buyers and sellers and typically operate on a global scale. Some popular crypto exchanges include Coinbase, Bittrex, and Gemini. However, such platforms usually come with relatively high asset-based fees.

  2. Brokers offer a more direct way to buy cryptocurrency. Unlike exchanges, such platforms provide users with direct access to cryptocurrency markets. This enables investors to complete transactions without having to go through any intermediaries, which can save both time and money. In addition, brokers often offer relatively low fees, making them a more attractive option for those looking to invest in cryptocurrency. 

Step 2: Funding Your Account

Once you have created your account and verified your identity, the next step is to deposit funds into it using a payment method of your choosing. Some of the possible options may include:

  • fiat currency using bank and credit cards;

  • e-money using such payment systems as PayPal, Neteller, and others;

  • other cryptocurrencies;

  • and more.

Don’t forget to consider fees. They are accrued based on the platform conditions and the payment method you choose to fund your account.

Step 3: Placing an Order

As soon as you have funds in your brokerage account, you can start buying crypto. All you need to do is to go to the buy section of your platform, choose the type of order and the amount of crypto you want to buy, and confirm your order.

Apart from direct investment in cryptocurrencies, there are also other options to consider. For example, if you are interested in buying Bitcoin, you could consider investing in Bitcoin futures. These are derivatives that allow investors to buy and sell this cryptocurrency at a set time and price in the future, and moreover, without the need to own the underlying asset.

How to Store Cryptocurrency

People who own cryptocurrency usually have two options for storing it.

  1. Hot wallets are internet-connected digital wallets. They are usually used to send and receive digital currencies quickly. These wallets are typically accessed through a user's mobile device or computer, making it easy and time-efficient to manage digital assets. Additionally, many hot wallets incorporate additional security features such as two-factor authentication and multi-signature access control, helping to ensure that unauthorized users cannot gain access to funds stored within the platform.

  2. Cold wallets represent a hard drive that allows for storing crypto offline. Many cold wallets are highly encrypted and feature multiple layers of security, making them virtually impenetrable to unauthorized access. By opting for this storage system, users can rest assured that their cryptocurrency holdings are protected from cyberattacks and other malicious activities. 

What Сan You Buy with Cryptocurrency?

There is a wide choice of options available when it comes to using cryptocurrency to make purchases in both the virtual and physical worlds. Here are some of them:

  1. Online retail purchases. Nowadays many merchants accept Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency payments. Moreover, they may even offer discounts for customers who pay with digital currency. For example, it’s possible to buy a Netflix subscription with Bitcoin. You can also pay for flights with crypto on such platforms as Travala, AirBaltic, and others.

  2. Offline purchases. Some real-world retailers have begun accepting cryptocurrency as payment in brick-and-mortar stores. For example, it’s possible to pay with Bitcoin in such well-known food and coffee chains as Burger King, Starbucks, Subway, etc. What’s more, some car dealers allow customers to pay in crypto when purchasing a new car.

  3. Insurance. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are becoming popular payment methods for buying insurance. For example, the Swiss AXA insurance issuer accepts cryptocurrency as a payment for all their services except for life insurance.

  4. Technologies. Crypto is popular when paying for tech products. Bitcoin payments are accepted by such companies as Microsoft, Newegg, AT&T, and others.

Can You Convert Crypto to Cash?

There are many different methods for converting crypto into cash. The simplest method is to use a crypto exchange like Coinbase, which allows for trading digital assets for fiat currency in real time. However, such platforms often charge high fees for their services, which can make this procedure rather costly. 

Another option is to use an online marketplace that facilitates person-to-person transactions. While this approach allows users to trade within their local area without incurring any fees, it also poses the risk of encountering scams or other security concerns. Thus, it’s crucial to opt for a reliable platform with a spotless reputation.

What’s more, BTC owners can withdraw cash using Bitcoin ATMs. These machines provide a convenient way for both beginners and experienced crypto traders to buy and sell Bitcoin quickly and easily. 

What Can You Do with Cryptocurrency?

The world of cryptocurrency is rapidly evolving, and today there is a wide variety of ways to use digital currencies. They include but are not limited to:

  1. Investment. By buying into a promising coin or token at an early stage, investors can potentially generate high returns over time as the value of the currency increases. However, it’s crucial to remember about the high volatility and, consequently, the high risk of such digital assets.

  2. Buying goods and services. As previously mentioned, cryptocurrencies are gaining wide adoption and becoming a popular means of payment in both the online and offline world.

  3. Low-cost money transfers.Cryptocurrency is a fast, secure, and significantly more cost-efficient way to send and receive international money transfers.

  4. Yield farming refers to a process by which investors pool their resources with those of other yield farmers in order to maximize their collective earnings from digital assets. 

Is Cryptocurrency Safe?

While many people are skeptical about the safety of cryptocurrency, many experts believe that it can be considered a secure and valuable asset. One reason for this is that there are many cryptocurrency exchanges for different assets, and many of them have strong security systems in place to protect users' funds. 

Moreover, many cryptocurrencies work on decentralized networks, which means that there are no central authorities or institutions controlling them. This also reduces any potential risks associated with centralized entities such as central banks or governments.

Although there are still some concerns about crypto, for example, the fact that many jurisdictions do not yet have clear laws governing its use, digital currencies have great potential to be a secure and valuable investment over time.

4 Tips to Invest in Cryptocurrency Safely

When investing in cryptocurrency, there are a few key things to keep in mind in order to ensure that your investment is safe and secure. Here are the most important of them.

1. Research Exchanges

Before investing in crypto, it’s crucial to find a reliable crypto exchange or broker that will fit your needs. Opt for a feature-rich platform that can ensure a high level of security. Read reviews and give preference to brokers with considerable experience and a big client base. 

2. Know How to Store Your Digital Currency

If you are a cryptocurrency owner, you need to think carefully about its storage. There are a few different options an investor can consider. Some people choose to keep their digital assets in a warm wallet, which allows them to easily and securely access their funds online. Alternatively, it’s possible to opt for a hardware wallet, which is generally considered the safest storage option for cryptocurrency. 

3. Diversify Your Investments

Diversification helps you to weather market fluctuations over time and minimizes the risk of a single catastrophic event taking down your entire portfolio at once. There are many different types of cryptocurrency to consider, from major coins such as Bitcoin and Ethereum to newer altcoins or niche currencies that may offer some unique benefits. 

4. Prepare for Volatility

The cryptocurrency market is prone to high volatility, meaning that asset prices may see sharp ups and downs. However, behind all of this frenzied activity lies a range of underlying drivers and factors including technical developments and updates, regulatory changes and concerns, as well as broader economic trends such as global inflation and interest rates. To be able to navigate this complex space and mitigate potential losses, investors should continuously educate themselves about this financial instrument and develop robust trading and risk management plans.


Is Crypto Real Money?

Cryptocurrencies are digital money that has many properties in common with fiat currencies. They are all accepted forms of payment for goods and services and can be quickly and easily transferred between individuals. However, unlike traditional money, crypto is usually not controlled by central banks and comes with significantly higher volatility, which makes it a more complex financial instrument.

Is Crypto a Good Investment?

Cryptocurrencies are growing in popularity among investors. However, whether it’s a good financial instrument is the choice of every trader. Cryptos are characterized by increased volatility, which means they can bring high potential profits and tremendous losses. Thus, it’s crucial to have sufficient experience and skills to benefit from this market.

What Is the Purpose of Crypto?

Cryptocurrencies serve various purposes. One of them is online payments. Crypto aims to facilitate fast, convenient online payments that are secure, efficient, and easy to use. By using clever cryptography to ensure security and anonymity, crypto helps to protect users' personal data and keep their financial information safe from hackers and other malicious actors. Moreover, unlike fiat money, digital currencies allow for cutting out traditional intermediaries like banks or credit card providers, thus enabling direct transfers without any high fees or delays. 

How Does Cryptocurrency Make Money?

Cryptocurrency operates within a larger marketplace known as the cryptocurrency space. This ecosystem includes exchanges where cryptocurrency can be bought and sold, as well as service providers who help to facilitate the use of virtual money in various ways. Moreover, it’s possible to invest in digital assets or trade them on various platforms to gain potential profit from their growing or falling value.

What Is Staking in Cryptocurrency?

Staking is a key concept in the world of cryptocurrency. It refers to the process of committing a certain amount of digital currency to a network in exchange for rewards. Typically, staking involves locking up the coins in a special digital wallet that is connected to the blockchain of the relevant currency.