This is my first tutorial on this website. So, if you think anything to be wrong, just place it in the comments.
First of all, it was pretty disappointing to see that there is nothing on 'Cryptocurrency' on Null Byte, owing to the fact that how convenient, digital, anonymous and widely accepted they've become. So I decided to make one myself.
A cryptocurrency (or crypto currency) is a medium of exchange using cryptography to secure the transactions and to control the creation of new units. Cryptocurrencies are a subset of alternative currencies, or specifically of digital currencies. Bitcoin became the first decentralized cryptocurrency in 2009. Since then, numerous cryptocurrencies have been created. These are frequently called altcoins, as a blend of bitcoin alternative.
Users of cryptocurrencies call the old world currency as 'fiat currency'. Consider it to be like cash which is stored digitally. Your transactions can not be traced back to you, and everything is stored on a public blockchain. Blockchain is a record of ALL transactions and balances in the cryptocurrency. Different cryptocurrencies may use different algorithms, but most are based on Scrypt or SHA-256d.
It is more like shares, made anonymous. But then, even cash is. It's legality varies between countries. But it is kept strictly out of economy especially in US and India, where Xapo can not even ship Bitcoin Debit Cards. Tranferring cryptocurrencies is almost free.
When more 'coins' of a cryptocurrency are created, that means more hashes are added to the blockchain. Since transfer of the 'coins' occurs at an often negligible cost, many 'faucets' have come up from which you can get some hashes for free, in return for filling out captchas and viewing ads. An advantage of decentralised cryptocurrencies is that no specific central power has any control over them.
You can always get an account for yourself at Exmo(Yup, that's a refferal link, but you can always go directly to the site if you prefer), a cryptocurrency exchange and wallet that allows you to store your money in form of fiat currencies if you'd prefer. Also, it is probably the only one that has refferal bonuses (though negligible).
The most famous cryptocurrency is undoubtedly bitcoin. If you wish to try it out for yourself, I've built a perfectly functional faucet rotator at this place.
I shall go into more depth on individual topics later in this series. This was just an intro to tell what you can expect from the series. If you wish to stay ahead, one of the sources I'm using is this Wikipedia page. Though I'd rather suggest you stay tuned for further articles (Don't worry, that's just an expression).
As I always say, this whole world is just a set of equations.
Cryptocurrencies are at an interesting point in the curve, and knowing about them can also help you to show off in front of your friends. So, there is something for everyone!