Cryptocurrency is software enabling the exchange and storage of digital ‘coins’ representing financial value. To monitor who owns which coins, platforms save an online record of every transaction, called a ‘ledger’ or ‘blockchain’. This is secured by cryptography: a set of methods for protecting sensitive information. Bitcoin, released in 2009, was the first cryptocurrency; other platforms have since launched such as Ethereum, Tezos and Filecoin. As cryptocurrency becomes a more established part of digital life, young people are bound to encounter it – so it’s vital that trusted adults understand its risks, and how it can be explored and used safely.
In the guide, you’ll find tips on a number of potential risks such as complex technology, scams and risky investments.