A cryptocurrency (or less formally a coin) is a decentralized payment network with an independent currency-like asset that functions on the network and is essential to its function.
As opposed to government electronic money, cryptocurrencies use modern cryptography and decentralization to secure transactions and creation of monetary units. Cryptocurrency assets cannot be seized from their owners by a decree. Cryptocurrency transactions are global and cannot be easily censored.
Cryptocurrencies and Trezor
Trezor supports many cryptocurrencies. For their full list see trezor.io/coins.
For more information about selected cryptocurrencies and how to use them with Trezor, see the relevant section of the Glossary.
For supported third-party wallets, see Compatible third-party wallets and services.
Bitcoin and alternative cryptocurrencies
Cryptocurrency: a network or an asset?
A common area of confusion when talking about cryptocurrency is that the word may mean two things:
- a network of computers running common software to create a decentralized currency and payment system
- an asset or token inherent to the cryptocurrency network
In the first sense, we can say that "Cryptocurrency is a revolutionary invention." In the second sense, it is possible to say "I hold several cryptocurrencies on my Trezor."
Things should get a little bit more clear when reading about particular cryptocurrency, because of the following common practice of using uppercase and lowercase letters:
For example, Bitcoin with uppercase B is used when referring to the Bitcoin as a network, system, software or protocol, while bitcoin with lowercase b is used when referring to an asset, currency or its units. Thus it is quite clear what is meant in "Many people have realized that Bitcoin is a great way to send payments globally." as well as in "Most mainstream economists think that the fixed monetary supply of bitcoins is a bad idea."