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A cryptocurrency is digital asset designed to work as a medium of exchange that uses strong cryptography to secure financial transactions, control the creation of additional units, and verify the transfer of assets. Cryptocurrency is a kind of digital currency, virtual currency or alternative currency. Cryptocurrencies use decentralized control as opposed to centralized electronic money and central banking systems. The decentralized control of each cryptocurrency works through distributed ledger technology, typically a blockchain, that serves as a public financial transaction database.
Bitcoin, first released as open-source software in 2009, is generally considered the first decentralized cryptocurrency.
Cryptocurrency exchanges is a business that allows customers to trade cryptocurrencies or digital currencies for other assets, such as conventional fiat money, or different digital currencies. They can be market makers that typically take the bid-ask spreads as transaction commissions for their services or simply charge fees as a matching platform.
Cryptocurrency hedge and investment funds
Cryptocurrency hedge funds are investment vehicles where money is pooled together to be invested in assets or projects related to cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies.
A firm can use use such a fund as part of its total asset portfolio that includes traditional assets, in order to offer those investing in traditional assets exposure to crypto assets and help them to further diversify investments.
Crypto hedge funds, which are different from crypto index funds, have grown from only 37 in the beginning of 2017 to over 400 as of August 2018 and together, they have over $3.5 billion in assets under management.