Cryptocurrency vs. Blockchain

Last Modified:
March 1, 2024

Cryptocurrency and blockchain are often used interchangeably, but they are fundamentally different. Let's go over each of them and understand their differences! '

What is cryptocurrency?

The word "cryptocurrency" can be broken down into the words "crypto" and "currency". "Crypto" is short for cryptography which is the practice of hiding information. Meanwhile, "currency" is a medium of exchange or money system, such as the United States Dollar (USD) or the Philippine Peso (PHP). Putting the two words together, we can see that cryptocurrency is a digital currency allowing secure money transfers between various people. They are not controlled by any government/bank, so that anyone can send money to another at any time. Cryptocurrencies primarily use blockchain as their underlying technology, but some are powered by other options, such as directed acyclic graphs (DAGs) and hashgraphs. 

What is blockchain?

Blockchain is an open, decentralized ledger that stores transactions across various computers. Data within the blockchain are bundled into "blocks" and then linked together, thus forming a "chain". Anyone can view this chain of data at any time, and it is also not controlled by any central entity. Blocks also cannot be altered without affecting the subsequent chain of blocks, which keeps the blockchain secure and protects it from bad actors. 

In summary, a cryptocurrency is a form of digital currency that uses cryptography for security. On the other hand, blockchains are open-decentralized ledgers and are the underlying technology most cryptocurrencies use.

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Types of Currencies