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.  None of them are Bitcoin. 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

Bitcoin in a bit more than 25 words

Pretty much every time I’ve told someone that I’ve been working on and about Bitcoin for the past while, I’ve been greeted with puzzled looks and flat admissions that my interlocutors have no idea what Bitcoin actually is. The easiest way to explain Bitcoin is the way its inventor, who goes by the catchy pseudonym of Satoshi Nakamoto, described it in the white paper that started it all: “an electronic peer-to-peer cash system.” Cash is a simple, fast and anonymousRead more