Nov 1, 2018

Digital currency versus virtual currency

Digital currency And virtual currencyEdit

Virtual currency is a type of digital currencies, but the converse is incorrect.

"Virtual" can be defined as "not based in physical reality," and virtual currencies are those which are not intended for use in "real life," or for expenditures on real assets. Consequently, most virtual currencies can be found in online gaming and are subject to centralized authority, with the control of the money supply resting in the hands of the virtual world's developers. An example of a purely virtual currency is Amazon Coins.

In contrast, "Digital" currencies can be used to facilitate payment for physical goods and services in "real life," thus, inhabiting similar characteristics to traditional physical currencies in that respect. Furthermore, digital currencies can be used to facilitate payment in-person at physical business establishments.

As such, bitcoin is often mistakenly classified as a virtual currency, when, in fact, it is a digital cryptocurrency. This is exemplified by bitcoin's ability to provide effective utility as a currency in the "real-world" for physical goods and services.