Cryptocurrency 101: A Beginner’s Guide

The world of cryptocurrency and investments can look incredibly intimidating to a newcomer. There are countless terms and guidelines investors need to follow in order to see success in their crypto journey.

Before delving into the world of crypto, it’s helpful to know what crypto is and how the investment process works. At the very least, knowing this information gives you a solid foundation to build upon as you become more knowledgeable.

In this article, we’ll cover exactly what cryptocurrency is and how investing works. We’ll also explain when and how this practice became popular and what kinds of cryptocurrencies are best for beginning investors. By the time you finish reading, you’ll feel well prepared to start your crypto investment journey.

What is Cryptocurrency?

Cryptocurrency is commonly referred to as “crypto.” Crypto is a payment method that circulates without the need for a central monetary authority. Cash and credit payments, on the other hand, are regulated by central monetary authorities, like banks and government entities.

Rather than relying on banks or government entities, cryptocurrency is made with cryptographic techniques that give people the opportunity to use them as they please, securely. Cryptography is, as defined by Oxford Dictionaries, the art of writing or defining codes.

When applying cryptography to cryptocurrency, it refers to the practice of ensuring your specific currency can’t be copied by anyone else.

How Does Crypto Investing Work?

Although cryptocurrency began with Bitcoin, there are now thousands of crypto options investors can choose from. These currencies will range from individual to large scale investments.

Most cryptocurrency runs through a blockchain platform, which is a database that is shared throughout a computer network. Blockchain is what stores the information electronically and keeps your information secure. Blockchain is used specifically because it means investors don’t have to worry about third-party gaining access to personal information. According to the most recent numbers, investors have the capability of trading between 6,000-10,000 coins in investments with some having the ability to trade more.

Crypto Miners

Crypto miners are individuals who use a special hardware and computer program to confirm each transaction in a specific blockchain. This process takes a lot of time and resources, though, and some claim it has negative effects on the environment as a result.

Starting in 2009, the idea of cryptocurrency quickly gained popularity in the tech world. Nobody knows the original creator of cryptocurrency, specifically Bitcoin, the one that started it all. Rather than using their real name, someone used a pseudonym and published a detailed plan about Bitcoin and how it works in a White Paper.

There are a ton of crypto options for investors to choose from. Seeing each type can get overwhelming pretty quickly. Because of that, we’ve broken down the most popular starting points for beginner investors to dip their toes into the world of cryptocurrency.


Bitcoin was originally created in 2008 when a person used the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto to publish a detailed plan about the ins and outs of Bitcoin in a White Paper. In the paper, there was a fully detailed outline of how Bitcoin would work and the currency officially launched the following year.

According to Time, Bitcoin’s maximum supply caps off at 21 million. Once it reaches that threshold there won’t be anymore Bitcoin available unless it’s traded between investors.


Alt-Coin” is a blanket term used to describe all other types of cryptocurrency that aren’t Bitcoin. The term is just as it says as it’s a shortened version of “Alternative Coins.” Among the most popular Alt-Coin options is Ethereum, or “Ether” if you’re referring to just the currency instead of the overall platform.

As of December of 2021, there are more than 15,000 different kinds of cryptocurrency. This makes the process of investing both overwhelming and also keeps things exciting as you can trade between new types of crypto all the time.

Here are some of the more well-known cryptocurrencies beginners would be good with:

  • Ethereum
  • XRP
  • Tether
  • Cardano
  • Polkadot
  • Stellar
  • USD Coin
  • Dogecoin
  • Chainlink
  • Uniswap

Parting Thoughts

Although getting started with cryptocurrency investments can feel overwhelming with all of the options made available, preparing yourself with foundational information can ease that overwhelm. By understanding exactly what cryptocurrency is and how it works, you’re more likely to see long-term success than you would by going in blind.

We hope this article has helped you get a better idea on how to go on with your investment journey.

About Crypto Tripwire: is a website that provides the latest news, videos, and information on cryptocurrency. We strive to provide accurate information for all audiences. The team consists of writers who are experts in their fields with years of experience covering crypto-related topics.

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