The source codes and technical controls that support and secure cryptocurrencies are highly complex. However, laypeople are more than capable of understanding the basic concepts and becoming informed cryptocurrency users. Functionally, most cryptocurrencies are variations on Bitcoin, the first widely used cryptocurrency. Like traditional currencies, cryptocurrencies' express value in units. Several concepts govern cryptocurrencies' values, security, and integrity.
Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency, meaning it's supported by a source code that uses highly complex algorithms to prevent unauthorized duplication or creation of Bitcoin units. The code's underlying principles, known as cryptography, are based on advanced mathematical and computer engineering principles. It's virtually impossible to break Bitcoin's source code and manipulate the currency's supply. Although it was preceded by other virtual currencies, Bitcoin is known as the first modern cryptocurrency. That's because Bitcoin is the first to blend certain key features shared by most subsequently created cryptocurrencies.