What is a digital currency and how does cryptocurrency mining work?

VANCOUVER — Cryptocurrency is a digital currency with no physical form or intrinsic value, but is an increasingly hot commodity as Bitcoin, its most well-known iteration, flirts with a record high.

Bitcoin, the self-proclaimed original decentralized digital currency, is hovering around US$8,000 as investors pour into alternative currencies.

Many other types of cryptocurrencies exist, including Monero and Litecoin. These digital currencies are decentralized, meaning there is no third-party authority like a bank that oversees activity, and transactions happen directly between two individuals. This offers some benefits, such as lower fees and global use.

Cryptocurrencies rely on blockchain technology. The blockchain is a public ledger of the currency’s transactions.

Generally speaking, there are two ways to obtain cryptocurrencies: A person can purchase units on an exchange, or they can participate in cryptocurrency mining.

Miners secure cryptocurrency networks. They receive new…


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