Since the creation of bitcoin in 2009, cryptocurrencies have become more and more prevalent across the world. There are now over 6,000 variants and in 2014, the UK government even commissioned a study of them and what role they can play in the UK economy.

One aspect of cryptocurrencies that may confuse some people is their description as a digital asset – a term broadly used to refer to images, videos and other files which are ‘assets’ to your organisation. So, how do cryptocurrencies fit into the digital asset picture?

Defining digital assets

Asset is an age-old term meaning useful or valuable things. Over time, it’s come to refer to things with economic value for an individual, organisation or even a country. That could be property or vehicles which can be converted into money if required. However, it can also refer to money itself.

In the digital age, we now also have digital assets. These are digital files – everything from images, videos and audio files to spreadsheets and documents – which hold a monetary value or are valuable to your organisation in another way.

The advent of cryptocurrencies brought along a new type of digital asset – a digital version of money itself. With that in mind, cryptocurrencies are simply one type of digital asset. That said, there are a few clear differences between cryptocurrencies and the digital assets you’re probably more familiar with…

The obvious difference…

First and foremost, cryptocurrencies are fundamentally different from other digital assets because of what they are. They are a digital currency rather than a useable file.

Use and legality

Cryptocurrencies are also less clear-cut when it comes to legality. It’s fair to say that most other types of digital asset are fully legal – with some exceptions depending on intellectual property or illegal content within the asset. However, cryptocurrencies are banned to some extent in over 20 countries. While the UK doesn’t have any clear laws surrounding them, the government does have rules for the taxation of cryptocurrencies.


Despite knowing that your digital assets are valuable, it can be hard to put a specific figure on the value of an audio file, for example. This is another area where cryptocurrencies differ, as they have a clear monetary value which changes like any other currency.


Because of the different nature of cryptocurrencies, they won’t be stored and organised alongside your other digital assets. Digital asset management systems have become invaluable for organisations that need to store, organise and retrieve a growing number of digital assets. However, this doesn’t apply to cryptocurrencies, which are stored and controlled by ‘miners’ who manage transactions and ownership on their computers.

Maximising the value of your digital assets

While they’re not a currency per se, digital assets – other than cryptocurrencies – can be hugely valuable to your business. At iBase, we aim to help you get the most out of them with our innovative digital asset management system.

Upload, edit, search, retrieve and share with robust security, multi-level access and sophisticated metadata. Want to find out more? Get in touch with our team.

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