A crypto currencies describes an alternative to a traditional currency. Jon Matonis writes about alternative currencies for Forbes Magazine on his block The Monetary Future.
"Matonis argues that what is about to happen in the world of money is nothing less than the birth of a new Knowledge Age industry: the development, issuance, and management of private currencies." --Seth Godin in Presenting Digital Cash, 1995.
In his talk, Bitcoin, the Cyberpunk Cryptocurrency: historical relevance and future ambitions, Kyle Drake points out that Bitcoin is touted for its many improvements to traditional currency. It is easy to transfer, requires no central authority to administer, works across political boundaries, and is easy to use.
But beyond the practical niceties and technical implementation details is the true intention of its pseudonymous inventor, Satoshi Nakamoto, who has now vanished and is unwilling to tell his story. Bitcoin is trying to solve a much larger problem: the flaws of present-day centralized currencies that lead to economic instability.
The fundamentals of economic exchange, how currencies work, what gives them their value, some of their flaws, and how these flaws manifest themselves in our world.
Decentralized cryptocurrencies propose to solve these problems, the rearchitecture of our economic lives that would happen if we used them for everything, and their potential flaws.