A cryptocurrency is a digital asset that is secured by cryptography, making it nearly impossible to counterfeit. Many digital assets are decentralized networks based on blockchain technology—a distributed ledger enforced by a disparate network of computers. A primary feature of digital assets is that they are generally not issued by a central authority.
Understanding digital assets
Digital assets or cryptocurrencies are underpinned by cryptographic systems. They allow for secure online payments without third-party intermediaries. "Crypto" refers to the many encryption algorithms that safeguard these entries, such as elliptical curve encryption, public-private key pairs, and hashing functions.
Cryptocurrencies can be mined or purchased from exchanges.
Adapted from Investopedia.com