Cryptocurrency is an emerging phenomenon that is still unknown to most, and somewhat scary to some – like the credit card looked in its early days. Unlike credit cards, individuals cryptocurrencies are digital and cannot be counterfeited, used without private keys, or reversed arbitrarily like credit card charge-backs.
A global network of computers use blockchain technology to jointly manage the database that records Bitcoin transactions. That is, Bitcoin is managed by its network, and not any one central authority. There is no other electronic cash system in which your assets are not owned by someone else, thus subject to being frozen or misused as a result. With cryptocurrency, you own the private key and the corresponding public key that makes up your cryptocurrency address. No one can take that away from you.
That said, cryptocurrencies have a long way to go before they can replace credit cards and traditional currencies for global commerce. But the appeal of cryptocurrencies to ensure ultimate control over one’s money is driving new systems that will fundamentally change our global economic system. Early adopters and investors in the crypto-space stand to profit greatly.