Browse Definitions:
Definition

cryptocurrency

This definition is part of our Essential Guide: Understanding blockchain: Tutorial for CIOs
Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn

A cryptocurrency is a digital medium of exchange that uses encryption to secure the processes involved in generating units and conducting transactions.

Cryptocurrencies are a subset of digital currencies and, as such, have no physical representation. They may be used for online or in-person transactions with any vendors who accept them. In-person transactions using cryptocurrencies are typically conducted through mobile payment from a digital wallet.

There are hundreds of cryptocurrencies around the world. Among them, Bitcoin is the most prominent example -- in fact, other cryptocurrencies are sometimes referred to as altcoins, as in alternatives to Bitcoin. The Bitcoin protocol enables peer-to-peer (P2P) exchange in a decentralized system that, unlike conventional currencies, is not associated with any financial institution or government.

Bitcoin-to-Bitcoin transactions are conducted through anonymous, heavily encrypted hash codes across a peer-to-peer network.Each user’s digital wallet maintains their Bitcoins. The wallet also stores all addresses the user sends and receives Bitcoins from, along with a private key known only to the user. The P2P network monitors and verifies Bitcoin transfers.

Other cryptocurrencies include Litecoin, primecoin, Namecoin and Feathercoin.

Paul Vigna provides a crash course on cryptocurrencies:

This was last updated in December 2015

Continue Reading About cryptocurrency

Join the conversation

1 comment

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

I would not trust it. Who ever holds the encryption keys has full access. Bitcoin has been hacked and we saw what happened there. Besides it's not widely accepted yet.
Cancel

-ADS BY GOOGLE

Dateiendungen und Dateiformate

Gesponsert von:

SearchCompliance

SearchSecurity

  • black hat

    Black hat refers to a hacker who breaks into a computer system or network with malicious intent.

  • copyright

    Copyright is a legal term describing ownership of control of the rights to the use and distribution of certain works of creative ...

  • keylogger (keystroke logger or system monitor)

    A keylogger, sometimes called a keystroke logger or system monitor, is a type of surveillance technology used to monitor and ...

SearchHealthIT

  • population health management (PHM)

    Population health management (PHM) is a discipline within the healthcare industry that studies and facilitates care delivery ...

  • ICD-10-PCS

    The International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision, Procedure Coding System (ICD-10-PCS) is a U.S. cataloging system for...

  • U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM)

    The U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM) is the largest biomedical library in the world.

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • business continuity plan (BCP)

    A business continuity plan (BCP) is a document that consists of the critical information an organization needs to continue ...

  • call tree

    A call tree -- sometimes referred to as a phone tree -- is a telecommunications chain for notifying specific individuals of an ...

  • mass notification system (MNS)

    A mass notification system is a platform that sends one-way messages to inform employees and the public of an emergency.

SearchStorage

  • open source storage

    Open source storage is data storage software developed in a public, collaborative manner that permits the free use, distribution ...

  • CompactFlash card (CF card)

    A CompactFlash card (CF card) is a memory card format developed by SanDisk in 1994 that uses flash memory technology to store ...

  • email archiving

    Email archiving (also spelled e-mail archiving) is a systematic approach to saving and protecting the data contained in email ...

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • RRAM or ReRAM (resistive RAM)

    RRAM or ReRAM (resistive random access memory) is a form of nonvolatile storage that operates by changing the resistance of a ...

  • JEDEC

    JEDEC is a global industry group that develops open standards for microelectronics.

  • M.2 SSD

    An M.2 SSD is a solid-state drive (SSD) that conforms to a computer industry specification written for internally mounted storage...

SearchCloudStorage

  • RESTful API

    A RESTful application program interface breaks down a transaction to create a series of small modules, each of which addresses an...

  • cloud storage infrastructure

    Cloud storage infrastructure is the hardware and software framework that supports the computing requirements of a private or ...

  • Zadara VPSA and ZIOS

    Zadara Storage provides block, file or object storage with varying levels of compute and capacity through its ZIOS and VPSA ...

Close