A virtual asset that uses encryption techniques to regulate the creation of new units of currency, as well as to verify the transfer of funds. Cryptocurrencies operate independently of centralized authority – such as central banks, and many are decentralized systems based on blockchain technology — a distributed ledger enforced by a disparate network of computers. The defining feature of cryptocurrencies, and arguably their biggest allure, is their organic nature: they are not issued by any central authority, theoretically making them immune to centralized interference or manipulation.