Alternative currencies are those other than the traditional fiat currencies issued by the world’s governments and central banks. The most common type of alternative currency in the early 21st century is known as cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrencies were created in for the first time in 2009, with Bitcoin being the original alternative currency, although hundreds more have sprung up since.
An alternative currency is used in the same way as traditional fiat currencies, as a method of payment for goods and services, or as a way to invest and trade. The major difference is that cryptocurrency has no physical representation, such as bills and coins. Instead it is digitally represented through the use of a public ledger known as a blockchain.
Alternative currencies have no ties to any government, bank, corporation or other entity, being fully decentralized. This makes them free from problems such as regulation, inflation, and the fees and charges that are imposed from third party intermediaries when dealing with fiat currencies.