What are cryptocurrencies?

Cryptocurrencies, also known as digital or virtual currencies, are payment instruments based on a mathematical algorithm (blockchain) that do not exist in physical form.

Cryptocurrencies are not backed by a central bank that guarantees their value, and their price varies according to changes in supply and demand. They are not required to be accepted as a means of payment, nor can they be considered a store of value or a stable unit of account. That is why cryptocurrencies do not compete with official money but are considered high-risk speculative assets.

One of the best known cryptocurrencies is Bitcoin, but there are thousands of other cryptocurrencies used as speculative assets.