In cryptocurrency networks, mining is a validation of transactions. For this effort, successful miners obtain new cryptocurrency as a reward.
The reward decreases transaction fees by creating a complementary incentive to contribute to the processing power of the network.
The rate of generating hashes, which validate any transaction, has been increased by the use of specialized machines such as FPGAs and ASICs running complex hashing algorithms like SHA-256 and scrypt.
This arms race for cheaper-yet-efficient machines has existed since the day the first cryptocurrency, bitcoin, was introduced in 2009.
A cryptocurrency, crypto currency or crypto is a digital asset designed to work as a medium of exchange wherein
individual coin ownership records are stored in a ledger existing in a form of computerized database using strong cryptography to secure
transaction records, to control the creation of additional coins, and to verify the transfer of coin ownership. It typically does not exist in physical form
(like paper money) and is typically not issued by a central authority. Cryptocurrencies typically use decentralized control as opposed to centralized digital currency and central banking systems.
When a cryptocurrency is minted or created prior to issuance or issued by a single issuer, it is generally considered centralized. When implemented with decentralized control, each cryptocurrency works through distributed ledger technology,
typically a blockchain, that serves as a public financial transaction database.
A cryptocurrency wallet stores the public and private "keys" or "addresses" which can be used to receive or spend the cryptocurrency.
With the private key, it is possible to write in the public ledger, effectively spending the associated cryptocurrency. With the public key,
it is possible for others to send currency to the wallet.