PORTLAND, Ore. (KTVZ) — During Cybersecurity Awareness Month, observed each October, the FBI and its partner agencies remind you to do your part and #BeCyberSmart all year long.

As the premier cyber investigative agency, the FBI works to keep you safe online, but there are many simple steps you can take to help protect yourself and your family. If you do become a victim, contact us at the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (www.ic3.gov) to report online crime.

This week’s focus is on cryptocurrency – what it is, how to use it and how to stay safe.

Q & A – Cryptocurrencies

Q: What is cryptocurrency? 

A: Cryptocurrency is a type of digital currency that you can use to buy goods or services, or invest. You use regular currency – such as the U.S. dollar – to buy these cryptocurrencies, some of which are called tokens, and then you can spend with vendors that accept them. There are thousands of different kinds of cryptocurrencies traded publicly. They are not yet fully regulated and are unsecured unlike the money in your traditional bank account. 

Q: What is the “blockchain” ? 

A: Blockchain is a digital ledger that tracks cryptocurrency transactions. Cryptocurrency transactions are processed in blocks, which are then added to the chain, hence the term blockchain. That ledger is maintained across many different computers around the world, which means the ledger is decentralized. This is one of the ways the blockchain works…

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