In a nutshell, cryptocurrency is (mostly) decentralised digital currency that lives on the internet.
The first and most well known currency, Bitcoin, was invented in 2008 and has inspired the creation of thousands of alternatives including Ethereum and USDC.
Although a popular use of these currencies has been to use them as an alternative to “centralised” or government-issued currencies, they now have many uses among the communities dedicated to each project.
Most points of sale require you to give the person you are buying a lot of information about yourself - your name, location and contact information at the very least. This puts this information at risk for fraud, sale and misuse. Cryptocurrency transactions generally do not contain any more personal information than the person sending it wants to share.
There is massive computing power behind the security of Cryptocurrencies - often above the billions of dollars worth in hardware. This makes it very resilient to attack by malicious actors.
Every crypto transaction is published in an open ledger called a blockchain - this prevents manipulation and and secret changes of money supply.
Cryptocurrency can be accessed anywhere in the world with an internet connection.
While there are pros and cons to each system, crypto offers a much better alternative than government issued currency for a lot of people in the world.
While this may seem strange to anyone from a developed nation (who often take their relatively stable currencies and relatively functional banks for granted), there are many countries that have seen the opposite - events such as hyperinflation, civil war and economic collapse see currencies and assets rendered useless, banks locking customers out from withdrawals and other loss of wealth and sovereignty.
Cryptocurrency is the first time these people have access to open source financial services - and all the need is a phone and an internet connection.
While Crypto’s use-cases increase by the day, here are some popular ones:
Disclaimer: None of what is written in this article is financial advise.