Difference between Digital Currency and Cryptocurrency
By Claire Miles - January 29, 2023

Digital currency” and “cryptocurrency” can sound identical, but they signify two different things.

Chart Summary
  1. It is controlled by an institution or government
It is not tied to specific institutions or government
  1. It may also refer to physical money
It has no relation to physical money
Woman using cell phone with Bitcoin

Getty images/Moment/ d3sign


Digital currency is any currency that is recorded and transmitted on computers. This includes traditional currency, which can be either physical or digital, depending on how it is stored. Digital currency is also a currency that can only be recorded and transferred on computers. It has no tangible equivalent, meaning it cannot be printed or coined in the real world. This refers to pure digital money and is not typically recommended.

Cryptocurrency is a virtual currency that does not have an actual real asset recorded and maintained on a blockchain database. This term applies to assets such as Bitcoin. Cryptocurrency is also entirely virtual money, implying it has no recognized physical asset protected by cryptography. This is not a specific meaning of the term.

Digital Currency vs. Cryptocurrency

The most significant distinction between digital currency and cryptocurrency is who controls the monetary worth of your coins. In the case of digital money, the currency’s value may be established by a government, financial institution, or other agency.

On the other hand, cryptocurrency follows a clear process from mining to ownership to transferring crypto assets. Its worth is likewise unaffected by central banking authority or regional geopolitical issues.
Any currency maintained in digital form is referred to as digital currency. While the phrase is often used to refer to cash that has no physical form and solely exists online, there are other recommended uses.
Cryptocurrency is only digital money based on the blockchain storage structure. Although the phrase can sometimes refer to any currency protected by encryption, this is not the intended usage.