A cryptocurrency is a medium of exchange like normal currencies such as USD, but designed for the purpose of exchanging digital information through a process made possible by certain principles of cryptography. Cryptography is used to secure the transactions and to control the creation of new coins. Sep 16, 2014
Bitcoin became the first decentralized cryptocurrency in 2009.
Cryptography is a method of using advanced mathematical principles in storing and transmitting data in a particular form so that only those, for whom it is intended for, can read and process it. Cryptography has been used for thousands and thousands of years by people to relay messages without detection. In fact, the earliest use of cryptography was seen in the tomb taken from Old Kingdom in Egypt circa 1900 BCE. Cryptography has existed in the modern society through one way or another. “The Science Behind Cryptocurrencies,” 26 October 2017; Blockgeeks, Inc., www.blockgeeks.com
Encryption is one of the most critical tools used in cryptography. It is a means by which a message can be made unreadable for an unintended reader and can be read only by the sender and the recipient. In modern technology, there are three forms of encryption that are widely used, symmetric cryptography, asymmetric cryptography, and hashing.
Symmetric Cryptography consists of Stream Ciphers and Block Ciphers. To explain symmetrical and asymmetric cryptography, you would have to understand mathematical equations and a bit of geometry.
Bitcoin uses Elliptical Curve Cryptology. I cannot regurgitate what I’ve read, only link you to the information, because I don’t have a good understanding of it vs. symmetrical or asymmetrical cryptography. I get caught up in the math equations and choose not to memorize the formulas or attempt to decode them, but the deal in public and private keys, and formulas to encode and decode information. See if you can understand an article on why the NSA is moving away from Elliptical Curve Cryptology (as of 2015).
“Even industrial and government users who are using antiquated protocols should just sit tight and wait for post-quantum standards.”
Post–quantum cryptography refers to cryptographic algorithms (usually public-key algorithms) that are thought to be secure against an attack by a quantum computer. A quantum computer harnesses the power of atoms and molecules to perform memory and processing tasks. Quantum computers have the potential to perform certain calculations significantly faster than any silicon-based computer.