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Fidelity Digital Assets

Whenever a new technology takes off, it almost inevitably requires learning a new language.

Think of how our vocabulary has expanded as the internet has evolved over the last several years. There was a time when “smart phone”, “mobile app” and “opt-in” felt foreign and unfamiliar. Today those words are as much a part of the modern lexicon as “live streaming” or the “Internet of Things (IoT).”

Which brings us to cryptography, a once obscure computer science that is now in the spotlight. The word crypto is derived from the Greek “kryptos”, which translates as “hidden, concealed, or secret”.
Understanding the Language of Digital Assets

Simply put, cryptography is a method of writing code for storing and transmitting data in a form that can be read and processed only by those for whom it is intended. Cryptography has been commonly used for decades in securing government, military, and commercial communication and data centers.

More recently, cryptography has been instrumental in developing what are popularly referred to as “cryptocurrencies”, a new but maturing asset class that represents a significant leap forward for digital technology and for money itself. Thus far cryptography has been used predominately to secure access, creating a private pipe between sender and receiver, such as HTTPS websites. But this technology is far more powerful, and cryptocurrencies combine the technology in new ways.
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