Cryptocurrency, as opposed to traditional national currencies, also known as "fiat", is not issued by a central bank or traditional financial institution. While they are both used as mediums of exchange, crypto assets can, at times, serve as better stores of value given their deflationary nature. For instance, there will only ever be 21 million Bitcoins in circulation, which makes them scarcer than U.S dollars, which have no such supply limits.
Since cryptocurrencies use advanced cryptography functions, they are also much more resistant to forgery and tampering – issues dealt specifically with the way cryptocurrency transactions are recorded on decentralized ledgers called blockchains.
Moreover, being outside the purview of traditional financial institutions, cryptocurrencies can be transferred globally, within seconds, without the typical barriers and high costs associated with traditional methods of money transfer.
Finally, unlike fiat currencies, cryptocurrencies cannot be physically possessed, nor can they be stored in traditional banks. All digital assets, including Bitcoin, are instead stored in online wallets or addresses, which are only accessible via unique private keys. While this does benefit users in locations where traditional banking networks are sparse or non-existent, it also adds more responsibility on the users to safeguard their own funds.
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