What makes a cryptocurrency “crypto-“?

With Bitcoin’s enormous success, the term “cryptocurrency” has passed into the vernacular, so much so that the word is now even enshrined in the OED. A quick preliminary bit of disambiguation: Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency; not all cryptocurrencies are Bitcoin. Ether is a cryptocurrency, Litecoin is a cryptocurrency, XPR is…another story.  But let’s not get sidetracked. The question I wish to attack here is not a definition of the word cryptocurrency, but, rather, a look at one aspect of its etymology.Read more