cryp·​to·​cur·​ren·​cy ˌkrip-tō-ˈkər-ən(t)-sē How to pronounce cryptocurrency (audio)
plural cryptocurrencies
: any form of currency that only exists digitally, that usually has no central issuing or regulating authority but instead uses a decentralized system to record transactions and manage the issuance of new units, and that relies on cryptography to prevent counterfeiting and fraudulent transactions
Virtual currency bitcoin hit the mainstream in 2014. Bitcoin ATMs started springing up all over the world … , allowing people to exchange cash for the cryptocurrency, a secure digital payment outside of conventional financial institutions.Brenda Poppy

Examples of cryptocurrency in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Key Background Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, was forced to pay over $4 billion in penalties and restitution after settling with the federal government on November 21. Zachary Folk, Forbes, 29 Nov. 2023 This behavior allowed Binance to become the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 28 Nov. 2023 The world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange agreed to pay $4.3 billion in penalties, among the largest fines in corporate history. Bysteve Mollman, Fortune, 25 Nov. 2023 Photo: dado ruvic/Reuters U.S. regulators’ settlement with the largest cryptocurrency exchange marked a new era in its enforcement efforts in the nascent sector. Mengqi Sun, WSJ, 22 Nov. 2023 The government says that by willfully ignoring their obligations to register as a money transmitting business, Binance allowed money to flow unfettered to terrorists, cybercriminals and child abusers who used their platform -- the world's largest cryptocurrency exchange. Alexander Mallin, ABC News, 21 Nov. 2023 The announcement also comes on the heels of another major federal enforcement action against a cryptocurrency exchange. Kevin Collier, NBC News, 21 Nov. 2023 David Ryder / Stringer | Getty Images North America Binance founder Changpeng Zhao has resigned as CEO of the world's largest cryptocurrency exchange after agreeing to plead guilty to money laundering violations, the US Department of Justice announced on Tuesday. Ashley Belanger, Ars Technica, 21 Nov. 2023 This is Najah Roberts, a founder of one of the few brick-and-mortar cryptocurrency exchanges in the country. WIRED, 16 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'cryptocurrency.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


crypto- + currency

First Known Use

2009, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of cryptocurrency was in 2009

Dictionary Entries Near cryptocurrency

Cite this Entry

“Cryptocurrency.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Dec. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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