Word of the Day


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a peer-to-peer digital currency that is validated by cryptography

Origin and usage

The word cryptocurrency is a relatively new term, dating only to the beginning of the 21st century. It combines the prefix ‘crypto-‘ from the Greek ‘kryptos’ meaning ‘hidden or secret’ and the word ‘currency’ from the Latin ‘currere’ meaning ‘to run’. Around 1699, ‘currency’ began to be used to describe the flow of money between people.


Cryptocurrency refers to a kind of digital money that is secured by cryptography. This means that cryptocurrency is safer to use and harder to counterfeit. Cryptocurrency is also not regulated by any central banking or government authority, which means it cannot be interfered with or manipulated.

The first cryptocurrency debuted in 2009 and less than a decade later there are billions of dollars of cryptocurrency in circulation around the world.

Popular cryptocurrency brands include Bitcoin, Litecoin, Namecoin and PPCoin.

Using cryptocurrency makes it easier to send wire transfers between two people or businesses with low fees and faster processing time.
Though cryptocurrency is still relatively new to the global financial market, it carries the promise of better security, greater openness, easier accessibility and more convenient payments for people looking to send money or make purchases online.

Cryptocurrency is also popular with currency traders, as its daily changes in value can earn lots of money on the currency exchange.
However, some industry experts are sceptical of cryptocurrency, fearing that unregulated digital currencies could have a negative impact on investors and businesses.


Cryptocurrency currencies take the concept of money, and they take it native into computers, where everything is settled with computers and doesn’t require external institutions or trusted third parties to validate things.”
(Naval Ravikant)

View the full definition in the Macmillan Dictionary.

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