What is the difference between Bitcoin and a blockchain?

Bitcoin on a smartphone in front of two red circles

In cryptocurrency, a blockchain is the digital ‘spreadsheet’ that keeps track of all transactions made with a cryptocurrency. For example, Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency and the Bitcoin blockchain is the ledger, or the spreadsheet, on which all the transactions that have ever been made with Bitcoin are recorded. 

Each cryptocurrency has its own blockchain. Ether for example, functions on the Ethereum blockchain, USDC on the USDC blockchain, and Litecoin on the Litecoin blockchain, and so on. 

Without a blockchain saving every movement of every Bitcoin in existence, it would be nothing more than a digital series of letters and numbers, a worthless string of code on a computer screen. It’s this ability to keep track of who spends what, and how much of a certain cryptocurrency there is in circulation that gives cryptocurrencies their value.

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