What are cryptocurrencies?

By: Peter, Zeneca


Cryptocurrencies are digital or virtual currencies that use cryptography (advanced coding techniques) for security. They are a form of money that exists only online, so you can’t hold them in your hand like you would with cash or a coin.

The most famous cryptocurrency is Bitcoin, but there are many others like Ethereum, Litecoin, and Ripple. These digital currencies are created and managed through a technology called blockchain, which we talked about on Day 1. Blockchain technology ensures that all transactions are secure, transparent, and difficult to tamper with.


Why should I own crypto?

There are many strong arguments for owning crypto, including:

  1. They allow for fast and inexpensive transactions across the world, without the need for banks or other intermediaries.
  2. They provide a level of privacy, as the transactions themselves don’t reveal personal information about the sender or receiver.
  3. Some people see them as an investment, hoping their value will increase over time as adoption increases, as well as providing diversification into a new asset class.
  4. There is a growing list of use cases for digital currencies, such as DeFi (Decentralised finance), NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens), and DAOs (Decentralised Autonomous Organisations). We’ll cover these 3 in further detail later in this course.
  5. The potential to bring financial services to the underbanked population in Canada, with nearly five million Canadians currently lacking proper banking access.


Where can I buy crypto?

Most people buy cryptocurrency through an exchange. Popular exchanges in Canada include:

  1. Coinsquare – simplifies and enhances how financial assets are managed, traded and transferred.
  2. NDAX – a regulated and innovative cryptocurrency trading platform.
  3. Shakepay – based in Montreal, Shakepay offers Canadians the easiest way to buy, sell and earn Bitcoin and Ether.
  4. Wealthsimple Crypto – financial services company with a mission to help Canadians achieve financial freedom by using state-of-the-art smart technologies services.
  5. Dapper Wallet – Dapper is the easiest and most secure way to buy and store all your digital assets on the Flow blockchain.


In our next email, we’ll cover: “What is bitcoin?”

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