Blockchain, a kind of Distributed Ledger Technology, is the technology behind cryptocurrencies, but it is much more than that. It is basically a data infrastructure that allows for the creation of not only cryptocurrencies themselves, and there are literally thousands else than the famous Bitcoin, but also smart contracts and digital assets.
In a very simplified way, smart contracts are pieces of software that allow for the automation of processes, but with a great bonus: they can do that without the need for a third party to validate it, thus eliminating intermediaries and any middlemen in the process. It is almost like a company providing services, but without the company.
Digital assets are also another revolution on their own. As the blockchain technology allows for the self-validation of information and for its individualization, creating unique and non-falsifiable digital assets, these assets, in the form of tokens in a particular blockchain (and there are many) can represent almost anything.
As a digital version of a real world asset, credit, right, currency, etc, countless new business models can be designed counting on the “tokenization” of something to improve, or to disrupt, almost any industry of business model.
And there are the cryptocurrencies as well, of course. They are digital assets, tokens, designed specifically to work as payment instruments, but with several of them experimenting exponential variations in their values, usually up, but sometimes dramatically down, they have become also speculation alternatives and are more and more used as reserves of value as well.
With stable coins, central bank digital currencies and the DeFi players just around the corner, the crypto-economy is also just beginning.