Virtual Currency & Cryptocurrency

What is Virtual Currency?

The IRS uses the term โ€œvirtual currencyโ€ to describe cryptocurrency. (The term is also used for other types of currency used as a medium of exchange, such as digital currency).
Virtual currency is a digital representation of value, other than a representation of the U.S. dollar or a foreign currency (โ€œreal currencyโ€), that functions as a unit of account, a store of value, and a medium of exchange. Some virtual currencies are convertible, which means that they have an equivalent value in real currency or act as a substitute for real currency.

What is Cryptocurrency?

โ€‹Cryptocurrency is a type of virtual currency that uses cryptography to secure transactions that are digitally recorded on a distributed ledger, such as a blockchain.
A transaction involving cryptocurrency that is recorded on a distributed ledger is referred to as an โ€œon-chainโ€ transaction; a transaction that is not recorded on the distributed ledger is referred to as an โ€œoff-chainโ€ transaction.