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Cryptocurrency for Beginners: 7 Questions to Ask – NerdWallet

Cryptocurrency, also known as virtual currency or digital currency, took the world by lightning storm in 2017.

Like real currencies, cryptocurrencies allow their owners to buy goods and services. However, much of the interest so far in these unregulated currencies is to trade them for profit, with speculators driving prices skyward.

More speculators seem to be piling in every day. In 2017, according to Business Insider, new cryptocurrencies raised more than $3.5 billion in initial coin offerings. An ICO is a type of fundraising similar to the initial public offerings of stock, in which the public is allowed to buy coins in the offering. Things only got hotter as 2017 progressed, and the ICO market remains red hot in 2018.