What Is Digital Currency? A Comprehensive Guide

what is digital currency

Welcome to the world of currencies! If you’re someone who is interested in money, finance, and technology, then you’ve come to the right place. In this blog post, we’ll explore what is digital currency and how it’s changing the way we think about it.

You might have heard about cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum in the news. But what exactly are they? How do they work? And what are the good and not-so-good things about them?

Whether you’re a seasoned investor or just curious about this new kind of thing, this blog post will give you a complete look. You will understand, what is digital currency, learn about digital money systems, and how it’s affecting our financial system as well as our daily lives. So, sit back, relax, and let’s jump into the fascinating world of currencies.

Digital Currency Definition

Digital currency is a special kind of money that exists only in the online world. It’s different from the physical one because it’s protected by advanced computer technology and can be used to make fast and safe transactions anywhere in the world, including Singapore. This new way of handling “cash” is changing the way we think about traditional currencies.

Different groups like governments, companies, and even regular people can create their own currencies, depending on what they want to use them for.

How Digital Currency Works – Understanding Digital Money

digital currency vs traditional fiat currency

To understand what is digital currency, we first have to find out how Digital currency works. It is a type of money that exists only in electronic form. It’s not like the physical currency you can hold in your hand, like coins or bills. Instead, electronic currency is something accessible to the general public for online transactions. It uses special codes and computer techniques, such as cryptography, to keep transactions safe and make sure no one can just create more of them.

You might have heard of Bitcoin, one of the most famous cryptocurrencies. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at these new types of “cash”. Furthermore, we will explore what makes it special. Central bank digital currency (CBDC), such as the Federal Reserve, is a concept that has gained significant attention in recent years. It refers to an electronic form of the national currency issued by the central bank, accessible to the general public, and used for settling transactions between firms and households. Central bank digital currency can be exchanged at par with other forms of money, such as physical bills and coins or electronic deposits with well-regulated financial institutions.

The law has to support the existence of a digital dollar just like the law supports the existence of a physical dollar. If you want to learn more about the various Digital Currency types, keep an eye out for our next blog post. In a nutshell, we’ll talk about four different kinds:

  1. Cryptocurrencies
  2. Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs)
  3. Tokens
  4. Digital Money or E-Money

Digital Currency Features

First, we’ve learned what is digital currency. Now, let’s have a look at its features. Cryptocurrencies are different from regular cash like bills or coins you put in a bank. These differences are why more and more people are starting to use them. Here are some important things to know about it:

  • Electronic Form: It is like an online treasure – you can’t touch it because it’s just numbers on a screen
  • No Big Boss: Especially things like cryptocurrencies aren’t owned by one big boss like a government or bank. They work together with lots of computers
  • Blockchain Magic: Some currencies, such as cryptocurrencies, use a special thing called “blockchain.” It’s like a secret book where everyone can see the pages. This makes sure no one cheats
  • Super Safe: We can use special secret codes to stay safe. It’s super hard for anyone to make a fake or play tricks
  • World Explorer: You can use these everywhere around the world. You don’t need to exchange cash when you travel. It’s like a passport

It’s worth mentioning that not all digital currencies are the same, and new ones can have special things about them. Also, rules, like a monetary policy, and what people like can change how we use these.

Benefits of Digital Currency

  • Efficiency: Using digital money is quicker and smoother compared to old-fashioned banking methods, where you often need middlemen and might have to wait for days
  • Reduced Costs: It can cut down the fees you pay, especially when sending cash to people in other countries
  • Financial Access: It can help people who don’t have regular bank accounts get access to financial services
  • Security: It is super safe because it uses secret codes and a special kind of technology called blockchain, which makes it really hard for bad guys to cheat
  • Transparency: If used on a blockchain, it keeps a clear record of all transactions, making it easy to trust and reducing the chances of dishonesty

Challenges of Digital Currency

  • Rules: The rules for digital money are still changing, which can make things uncertain and sometimes lead to legal problems
  • Price Changes: Its value can go up and down in value quickly, which makes it not very safe to keep or use to buy things
  • Safety Problems: Even though it is usually safe, there are still problems with hackers, scams, and losing access to your digital wallet
  • Handling Lots of Transactions: Some types, like Bitcoin, have a hard time handling a lot of transactions quickly and efficiently
  • Privacy Worries: The way it works can sometimes show everyone what you’re doing with your cash, which might be a problem if you want to keep it private

In short, digital currency includes different kinds of electronic money, each with its own features and uses. It has many good things, like making things work better, costing less, and helping more people use it, but there are also challenges in these early days, such as rules, price changes, and safety. How people use it is still changing, and it’s making a big difference in how it works all around the world. Additionally, systems that use blockchains also have to pay transaction fees or the costs associated with processing the transaction, to miners.

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Sweden looking into digital money (Tether like Stablecoins)

The central bank of Sweden, a country that is on its way to becoming a cashless society, has released several exploratory papers since 2017 that explore the benefits and drawbacks of introducing a stablecoin into its economy. This has the potential to revolutionize financial institutions and their transaction processes, making payments faster and cheaper, especially for international transfers.

After reading what is digital currency, consider searching the term Stablecoin on our blog too.

China & Russia consider implementing CBDC

The use of CBDCs (Central Bank Digital Currencies) has been suggested as a means of enhancing the speed and security of centralized payment systems, lowering the costs and dangers of handling cash, and promoting greater financial inclusion for people and companies without access to conventional banking services. They may also make cross-border payments easier and lessen the need for foreign exchange, ultimately ensuring financial stability. By their very nature, CBDCs could streamline payment systems by removing unnecessary intermediaries in payment processes.

As you study what is digital currency, you should know by now that CBDCs have their downsides too. Because total transparency is maybe not what you want. But other central banks are pushing too.

Why are people talking about central bank digital currencies?

CBDCs will be controlled by central banks, pivotal for managing the economy and inflation. With the rise of cryptocurrencies, CBDCs have gained prominence, serving as digital cash. The Caribbean and Nigeria, are testing CBDCs. China is experimenting with 260 million users. The Bank of England also contemplates a digital pound.

The Future of Digital Currencies & Crypto Stakeholders

the future of cryptocurrency

The future of digital currencies is something a lot of people are curious about and talking about. Although we can’t give you real-time updates, we can talk about some general ideas and possibilities for what might happen with it in the future.

  1. More People using it: Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and CBDCs from governments, might become more popular with everyday people. This could happen because more people learn about them, there are clearer rules about how to use them, and they become easier and safer to use. But this might take some time, and it will depend on things like what the government says and whether people trust it
  2. Rules and Regulations: Governments and groups that make rules will play a big part in deciding what will happen. They’ll need to make rules to protect people who use digital cash, make sure things stay stable, and stop bad stuff like money laundering. They have to find the right balance between making rules and letting new ideas happen
  3. Getting Better Technology: The technology behind, blockchain, needs to improve to make things faster and safer. Some projects are already working on this, like Ethereum 2.0, which wants to make cryptocurrencies better for everyday use
  4. Helping More People: Digital cash could make it easier for people who don’t have regular bank accounts to get help with it. This could be really important in places where there aren’t many banks
  5. What Happens to Regular Banks?: Figuring out what happens to regular banks is a tricky problem. It might change how some parts of banks work, like moving money around and sending it far away. However, many experts think banks can change and use it in their work too
  6. Competition and Working Together: Central Banks and other financial groups are starting to look into blockchain tech. Some might try to beat this, while others might work together with it by offering services related to it. So, both the old way of doing money and the new way might exist together
  7. Sending Money Around the World: Digital currency could make it easier and cheaper to send money to people in other countries. This would be good for businesses and people who send money back home
  8. Currency Going Up and Down: One big problem with it, like Bitcoin, is that its value can change a lot. This makes it hard to use for everyday stuff. Stablecoins want to fix this by tying their value to regular currency, like USD, so they don’t go up and down so much. Still, a lot of people see it as e-Gold
  9. Taking Care of the Planet: Some, especially Bitcoin, need a lot of energy, and that’s bad for the environment. In the future, people will make different types that don’t use as much energy to help the Earth

So, the future of digital currency will depend on technology, rules, and how people use it. While it could change how we handle cash and help more people, there are also problems to solve. We’ll have to watch and see what happens in this fast-changing world.

Legal issues surrounding digital currencies – The Bitcoin Blockchain Problem

Government regulations and legal issues surrounding digital currencies are often referred to as cryptocurrencies. Different countries have different rules for cryptocurrencies. These rules can change as technology and the industry grow. Here are some things that governments think about when it comes to digital money:

  1. What Exactly Is It: One big question for governments is figuring out what it is. Some countries say it’s like stuff you buy, some say it’s like owning things, and some say it’s like regular cash. This decision can affect taxes, licenses, and the law
  2. Stopping Bad Stuff: Many governments and central banks want to stop bad things, like people using it for crimes. They make rules for companies that help you use it to check who you are
  3. Getting Permission: In some places, companies that work with it need special permission or have to tell the government what they’re doing. This helps make sure they follow the rules
  4. Paying Taxes: Paying taxes when you use it can be different in every place. Sometimes, it’s like buying or selling things, sometimes it’s like earning money, and sometimes it’s like regular cash. It can be tricky to know what to do
  5. Extra Rules for Some Coins: Sometimes, special coins or tokens are treated like important papers. This means they have more rules to follow, like telling the government about them
  6. Keeping You Safe: Governments can make rules to keep people safe when they use it They want to make sure things are fair, secure, and clear when you use it
  7. Making Exchanges Safe: Places where you trade digital money often have rules too. They need to keep it safe, tell the government what they’re doing, and make sure everything is okay
  8. Money Across Borders: You can send it from one country to another easily. This can be a problem for governments. They might need to work with other countries to stop bad things from happening
  9. Starting New Projects: Sometimes, people sell new cryptocurrencies to get crypto for new ideas. But some of these were fake or bad. So, governments made rules to protect people
  10. Smart Contracts and the Law: Using smart contracts with cryptos can be confusing for the law. Governments might need to say if they’re okay or not
  11. Government Currency: Some countries want to make their own type. It’s like regular cash but on a computer. This has new rules to think about
  12. Who Decides the Law: Figuring out which country’s laws apply when there’s a problem with it can be hard. Especially if people are in different countries
  13. Keeping Your Information Safe: Using it can mean your personal stuff gets saved online. This can make some people worried about privacy and security. There are rules for this, like GDPR in Europe

Remember, the rules for digital currencies can change quickly, including regulations and legal issues surrounding digital assets and their role as a unit of account in the United States and El Salvador. People who use smartphones and cryptos should keep up with the latest rules in their area and ask a lawyer if they’re not sure. Also, big groups like the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) make rules to stop bad things with digital money all around the world, ensuring consumer protection and safeguarding trillions of dollars in the nascent industry. You are lucky, as by now, you know what is digital currency.

Tips for safely storing and using electronic currency online

ledger hardware wallet
  1. Use Hardware Wallets: Keep your electronic currency safe by using special devices like Ledger Nano S or Trezor. These gadgets don’t connect to the internet, making it harder for bad people to steal your money
  2. Use Two-Factor Authentication (2FA): Make it extra tough for anyone trying to get into your accounts. Use 2FA when you can, like getting a text message or using an app to prove it’s really you
  3. Backup Your Keys: Don’t lose your keys! Save them in different safe spots, like on paper or metal, in case something bad happens
  4. Watch Out for Tricks: Be careful about tricks. Check if websites, emails, and messages are real, and never tell anyone your secret keys
  5. Keep Your Software Updated: Make sure your wallet and computer are always up-to-date. This helps fix problems and keeps your money safer
  6. Use Strong Passwords: Make strong and unique passwords for your accounts. A special tool can help you remember them safely
  7. Learn About Electronic Currency: Know the basics, at least what is digital currency and how it works. Knowledge helps you avoid scams and tricks
  8. Spread Your Money Around: Don’t put all your cash in one place. Put it in different wallets and websites to be safer
  9. Use Safe Networks: Only use trusted networks for your accounts. Don’t use public Wi-Fi for important stuff
  10. Stay Informed: Keep up with the latest news about digital currency safety. It helps you know how to protect your money better
  11. Be Careful with Other Services: Be careful with other websites and apps. Only use ones that lots of people trust
  12. Try a Small Test First: Before moving a lot of money, try a small amount first to make sure everything’s right
  13. Check Your Accounts Often: Look at your accounts and transactions now and then. If something seems strange, you can catch it early.
  14. Think About Multisig Wallets: For more safety, think about using a special wallet that needs many keys to move money
  15. Plan for the Future: If you have lots of digital currency, tell a trusted person what to do with it if something happens to you

Remember, the electronic currency world is always changing. There is no digital currency council. So keep learning what is digital currency and keep your money safe!

Resources for learning more about digital currency systems

cryptocurrency trading consulting

Learning, especially what is digital currency, and what is digital money, often called cryptocurrency, is an exciting journey that’s always changing. Here are some helpful ways to start and keep up with it:

Online Courses and Tutorials:

  • iMi Blockchain: The iMi Blockchain Academy offers classes on blockchain and cryptocurrencies from top universities
  • Coursera: Coursera also offers classes on blockchain and cryptocurrencies
  • edX: Just like Coursera, edX has courses about blockchain technology and cryptocurrency
  • Udemy: Udemy has lots of cryptocurrency courses, ranging from easy to more advanced


  • “Mastering Bitcoin” by Andreas M. Antonopoulos: This book explains Bitcoin in a detailed but easy-to-understand way
  • “The Basics of Bitcoins and Blockchains” by Antony Lewis: It’s a great book for beginners, teaching you about cryptocurrencies and blockchain
  • “Cryptoassets: The Innovative Investor’s Guide to Bitcoin and Beyond” by Chris Burniske and Jack Tatar: This book talks about different cryptocurrencies and how you can invest in them

Websites and Blogs:

  • Coinbase Learn: Coinbase’s website has articles and guides about crypto
  • Investopedia Cryptocurrency Section: Here, you can find clear explanations about various cryptos
  • iMi Blockchain: The iMiBlockchain blog has great articles about blockchain and cryptocurrencies
  • News Sites: Stay updated with news from trustworthy crypto news sites like CoinDesk, CoinTelegraph, and Decrypt

YouTube Channels and Podcasts:

  • Andreas M. Antonopoulos: He has a YouTube channel and books that are perfect for learning about Bitcoin and blockchain
  • iMi Blockchain: They also have a YouTube channel for learning all about Blockchain, Bitcoin, and Altcoins. There is also a Video about “What is Digital Currency”
  • Unchained Podcast: This podcast, hosted by Laura Shin, talks to experts in the cryptocurrency world

Forums and Communities:

  • Reddit: Check out subreddits like r/Bitcoin and r/CryptoCurrency. They can be informative, but be careful of false information
  • Bitcointalk: It’s one of the earliest crypto forums where people discuss various cryptocurrencies
  • Cryptocurrency Whitepapers: These are the original documents for cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum. They help you understand the technology and goals of each project

Twitter and Social Media:

  • Follow important people in the cryptocurrency world, developers, and organizations on Twitter and other social media for the latest updates

Online Exchanges:

  • Many cryptocurrency exchanges have educational materials to help you understand how to trade, invest, and stay safe

Local Meetups and Conferences:

  • Attend local cryptocurrency meetings or blockchain conferences to meet others who are interested and learn from experts


  • The best way to learn is by doing. Consider buying a small amount of cryptocurrency and trying out transactions and wallets to get hands-on experience. If you need help, the friendly guys from iMi Blockchain will help you free of charge


  • As you learn all about what is digital currency, make sure to learn about how to keep your investments and assets safe


Thanks for reading what is digital currency. Yes, it’s a complex and always-changing field. Hence, keep learning and staying informed about new developments. By using the resources mentioned above, you can build a strong understanding of Digital Currency 101 and its technology.

If you want to learn more about blockchain and what is digital currency in detail, explore our other articles on our crypto blog. If you’re ready to talk with experts and learn more about cryptocurrencies, you can book a 30-minute consultation for free today!

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Where to buy digital currency?

There are hundreds of platforms (websites) where you can buy digital currency. Some of the most popular platforms are: Coinbase – Best overall platform; Robinhood – Best Low Cost in the US; Square Cash – Is very versatile; Binance – Great for Low Rates with High Performance; Coinmama – Best for Easy Transactions; and November – a platform that offers secure and user-friendly digital currency transactions.

How do you buy digital currency?

To buy Digital Currency simply follow these steps: 1. Choose a reputable cryptocurrency exchange; 2. Create an account and complete identity verification; 3. Deposit funds into your exchange account; 4. Select the digital currency you want to buy; 5. Specify the amount and confirm the purchase; 6. Store your digital currency in a secure wallet for safety.

How would digital currency affect you?

Digital currency could potentially affect us in several ways, including Financial Inclusion, Efficiency, Privacy Concerns, Regulation, Security, Financial Stability, and Technical Innovation.

Can digital currency replace cash?

Digital currencies have the potential to replace cash in many situations, but their adoption will depend on factors like regulatory developments, technological accessibility, and user trust. While digital currencies are already widely used for certain purposes, it may take time before they fully replace physical cash for all types of transactions.

Is digital currency Taxed?

Yes! Most governments, including policymakers, have changed their laws and regulations to address the issue of money laundering. Most tax offices treat cryptocurrency as property for tax purposes. Just like other forms of assets. Please contact your local tax office for more information.

Marcel Isler

Marcel Isler

Marcel is a Business Economist and founder of iMi Blockchain. A Consultant and international Keynote Speaker. He studied at the University of Oxford. He helps enterprises to implement Blockchain applications. On our blog, he writes about distributed ledger technology, smart contracts, cryptocurrencies, industry news, and future trends.