A cryptocoin, or crypto-currency, is a digital collection of unalterable, encrypted binary data that is designed to function like a virtual currency in which user coin ownership records are maintained in a highly secured online ledger that is available to the general public. There is no physical money nor physical assets tied to any one cryptocoin. Instead, a cryptocoin is entirely virtual and all monetary value is derived from the collective efforts of all the users who hold the coins. This system can be compared to the currency of a country.
Cryptocurrency users typically “mine” the supply of their digital assets, meaning they are able to create more of them by making transactions with other users of the same type of Cryptocurrency. Mining requires large amounts of computer power and time to accomplish and is done by purchasing expensive equipment. The value of a Cryptocurrency increases with the increased demand for its underlying asset, which also drives up the value of each coin.
There are currently several dozen different Cryptocurrencies in existence. With a growing community of Cryptocurrency investors, more valuable and rarer Cryptocurrencies are being created. One notable lesser known Cryptocurrency is zcash, which was created by the aforementioned Litecoin developers. Other less well known but still valuable Cryptocurrencies include eether and doge.