A cryptocurrency (or crypto currency) is a digital asset designed to work as a medium of exchange wherein individual coin ownership records are stored in a ledger existing in a form of computerized database using strong cryptography to secure transaction records, to control the creation of additional coins, and to verify the transfer of coin ownership.
Bitcoin, first released as open-source software in 2009, is the first decentralized cryptocurrency. Since the release of bitcoin, over 6,000 altcoins (alternative variants of bitcoin, or other cryptocurrencies) have been created.
Ethereum* is the second-largest cryptocurrency platform by market capitalization, behind Bitcoin. It is a decentralized open source blockchain featuring smart contract functionality.
Cloud mining is the process of cryptocurrency mining utilizing a remote datacenter with shared processing power.
This type of cloud mining enables users to mine bitcoins or alternative cryptocurrencies without managing the hardware. The mining rigs are housed and maintained in a facility owned by mining company and the customer simply needs to register and purchase mining contracts or shares.
Since cloud mining is provided as a service, there is generally some cost and this can result in lower returns for the miner.