A cryptocurrency is a medium of exchange like normal currencies such as USD, but designed for the purpose of exchanging digital information through a process made possible by certain principles of cryptography. Cryptography is used to secure the transactions and to control the creation of new coins. The first cryptocurrency to be created was Bitcoin back in 2009. Today there are hundreds of other cryptocurrencies, often referred to as Altcoins.
Put another way, cryptocurrency is electricity converted into lines of code with monetary value. In the simplest of forms, cryptocurrency is digital currency.
Blockchain, also known as a distributed ledger technology, was originally created as a tracking database for Bitcoin transactions. It was developed in 2009 to enable individuals and organizations to process transactions without the need for a central bank or other intermediary, using complex algorithms and consensus to verify transactions. Fast-forward seven years, and an array of startups and established technology, banking and finance players today are betting on blockchain to provide a reliable alternative to systems that depend on intermediaries and third-party validation of transactions.
Goal is to leverage blockchain’s distributed ledger approach to create a system that decentralizes trust — a radical departure from existing transaction processing methods — to significantly slash all types of transaction fees and reduce processing times.