Cryptocurrency is a general name referring to all encrypted decentralized digital currency. The technology is generally open-source. This means anyone can copy and/or create their own. Except change an existing one. This is the encrypted part, where every action taken in the program (or blockchain) for each currency, is logged in it's ledger and is programmed so that it cannot be altered later. When writing into the ledger the program first checks the rest of the ledger for if what you are trying to do is allowed. These will be logged as confirmations. Meaning; the information is accepted by the ledger because it confirmed the information first came from the ledger.
The growing popularity of crypto's means that despite volatile prices, market caps and values are growing every year. This popularity is contributed to the fact that it's completely free from government or banks. No bureaucracy and bankers involvement in its creation and distribution.
Popular cryptocurrencies include the original Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin. These all have different technologies for encryption, mining and sending. They all share one common feature, They're ledgers cannot be altered once information is accepted.
Every cryptocurrency is different. For the everyday user the difference is only noticeable by the type of wallet they install, the total volume of said coin, and the address structure. For example every Ethereum address starts with '0x' and every Litecoin address with an 'L'.
The other main difference are the transaction fees and speed. While most Cryptocurrencies are forever under development to improve such things, some might be pretty expensive to use as actual currency.
Some coins have a bigger following and thus a more stable network.
A great example of this is Litecoin. Founded with the same principles as Bitcoin, with some technical differences, Litecoin is one of the fasted and stable cryptocoins around. Transactions are cheaper and faster than with Bitcoin. It helps a lot that the main developers are less divided concerning anything they find needs improving.
Ethereum on the other hand works even more different. The Ethereum network can be seen as more of a big machine holding many other coins, called tokens. These tokens can be send and received within the Ethereum network under just one address holding many types.
Here Ethereum is mainly used to pay for transactions, so you don't need to pay from the token share. That's why when making a transaction Ethereum is usually referred to as 'gas'.
With this system Ethereum can be used by anyone to make their own token with smart contracts. Very little technical knowledge and skill is needed, and many have taken to use this method instead of hiring a full IT team to develop their own cryptocurrency.
The total volume of any token has a very big influence on the market value and usability. As you might already know the total amount Bitcoins possible is 21million. These all need to be 'mined' before they can be used.
Other coins have different maximum coins, influencing the price and difficulty of the mining process. Some coins like the infamous DOGE coin have no limit and will always be minable. This of course brings the problem that its value can never fully be determined opposed to others. Then again in case of DOGE this isn't a problem, as it was first introduced as a sort of joke and gift.
Then there are the coins and tokens that are not mined but just created all at once. This is done to ensure many things like; value and usability.
These are usually build on top of another blockchain, like the Ethereum network.
Of course there are a great many other cryptocurrencies around these days, with a great variety of programming languages used. But they still are usually operated and used by the casual user like the aforementioned.
Tokens are a somewhat late addition to the blockchain technology, to help companies and individuals create their own coin, without needing all the knowledge to build one from nothing.
As mentioned before the Ethereum network is a great example of this. Anyone can create their own token using a so called smart contract. With this you can easy design your own token. Meaning, give it a name, logo, volume and assign its value. Of course you will need to be backed by others to make it a reality. Or your coin will just be tiny blip that no-one really sees or pays attention to.
most generally ERC20 tokens. ERC stands for Ethereum Request for Comments. This is an official protocol for proposing improvements to the Ethereum network. 20 is the unique proposal ID number.
ERC20 is actually a standard that tokens on the Ethereum network can meet, and tokens that check all the necessary boxes are deemed ERC20 Tokens. These tokens are blockchain assets that have value, and can be sent and received, like Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, or any other cryptocurrency. The difference between these tokens and a standalone currency like Litecoin is that ERC20 tokens piggyback on the Ethereum network, hosted by Ethereum addresses and sent by Ethereum transactions.
The 20 is not the only used type of token used in Ethereum. But, to the casual user there is no difference in token in usability.
Most Ethereum wallets have some tokens build in, but do not show all. So if you received a message that the tokens are send, and you cannot see them showing up in your wallet, does not mean they aren't there. The best way to check if you have them in you wallet is by searching your wallet address (public key) on etherscan.io.
There are of course other types of tokens for almost any type of blockchain.
But the most common ones can be found for Ethereum, NEO and waves.
There are a lot of examples of success and failures out there. But, if you haven't actually invested and still received free coins there is no loss. Even if the coin is currently worthless.
freebcc tokens are not available anywhere but on this website!
Safety in the cryptocurrency world is key. The only real safety feature you should always keep in mind is to never share your private keys and passwords. When available use 2FA features.
If you are ever asked for your private key to a wallet, for whatever reason, you really should not. It is quite common for scammers to disguise themselves as some sort of admin, from some wallet provider, and might ask you for the private key with some excuse that might sound believable. If they truly are of that provider or service, you really should think about quitting it and transferring your assets.
The safest course of action for any coin is to have your private keys written down on a piece of paper and keeping it secure. Alternatively keeping it all on a USB drive in a txt file. This will ensure you have full control and are not dependent on some online service to keep things save for you.