Crypto is short for “cryptography”, which is the technology used to encrypt and secure transactions on the Internet. For example, sending emails, visiting websites with a padlock next to the URL, or performing Bitcoin transactions.
With Bitcoin, miners must solve complex equations called hashes before adding the next batch of transactions to the blockchain. This is a simplified explanation, but cryptography is a key part of Bitcoin’s blockchain technology.
Crypto is also short for “cryptocurrency”, which is a currency or coin that uses cryptography to maintain transactions, of which there are many.
The word “crypto” triggers some Bitcoiners because they call anything that isn’t bitcoin “crypto,” even though bitcoin is technically a cryptocurrency itself. It is often used interchangeably to describe the entire crypto industry, including Bitcoin, but there is another word Bitcoiners use to describe all other cryptos.