As a relatively new type of currency, cryptocurrency operates in a totally different way than the traditional currency we use every day. The most significant difference between a cryptocurrency and a traditional currency is that it is a virtual currency, not a physical coin or note you can carry around with you.
The way it is issued, or created, is also unique. In contrast with fiat currencies, such as U.S. dollars, euros, and other currencies issued by governments, cryptocurrency units are usually produced with the participation of volunteers using computers from around the world.
Cryptocurrencies are usually not controlled or operated by any single entity in any single country, which is why they are often described as "decentralized." It takes an entire network of volunteers from around the world to secure and validate transactions made with cryptocurrency.