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Virtual Currency & Cryptocurrency

What is Virtual Currency?

The IRS uses the term “virtual currency” 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 (“real currency”), 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?

​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 “on-chain” transaction; a transaction that is not recorded on the distributed ledger is referred to as an “off-chain” transaction.
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