Cryptocurrency is any form of decentralised currency that is digital or virtual, that is secured by cryptography and is based on blockchain technology. Due to a decentralised structure, cryptocurrencies are free of any regulated central intermediary such as governments or banks, allowing for cheaper and faster transfers of currency. They are intangible, meaning you don’t actually own a physical currency, but rather a key that allows the user to move a record or unit of measure peer-to-peer without the need of these central intermediaries.
Types of cryptocurrencies include actual currency itself, smart contracts, utility tokens and governance tokens.
Cryptocurrencies run on a distributed public ledger called blockchain, which keeps track of all transactions updated and held by all of the currency holders.
Cryptocurrency can be created from cryptocurrency mining, a process which uses computational power to solve complex mathematical problems. They can also be exchanged peer-to-peer and off exchanges as well.
With decentralised finance growth, movements towards Web 3.0 and the Metaverse, real-life usage of NFTs, the cryptocurrency and blockchain space has much more room to grow. The future of cryptocurrency is one that is bright and exciting, and with further regulation and legislation now being introduced globally (including in Australia), cryptocurrency will only grow in importance as the years go on. In the not so distant future, cryptocurrencies will begin to be accepted as retail payments globally as they begin to be integrated into the market. There are a growing number of businesses that accept Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as a form of payment. In Australia, there are a number of online retailers offering cryptocurrency payments, this extends to physical stores that accept cryptocurrency in Australia as payments.
According to the Independent Reserve Cryptocurrency Index (IRCI) 28.8 percent of Aussie investors now hold some form of cryptocurrency in their portfolio, having increased dramatically from 18.4 per cent in 2020. The proportion of Aussie women who own cryptocurrency has also doubled, rising from 10.1 per cent in 2020 to 20 per cent in 2021!