Cryptocurrencies are a new thing and are looking for their etymological position still. The term might mean different things for developers, investors, economists, legislators, journalists and for the common public. What seems to be common for the digital assets considered as cryptocurrencies is that they all are built on distributed ledgers and traded openly in various platforms and exchanges. Some parts of the community need to value the traded digital asset and accept it as a payment for service or as a good to be exchanged to another usually digital asset.
The classification of cryptocurrencies, various types of virtual tokens, digital coins, securities and digital assets is not very clear, since the legislation and the definitions for various terms are not yet solidified in the international markets and courts. We can expect more clarity on the definitions in the near future when the developer communities and regulators start publishing official guidelines for the asset classification. Before that the field of cryptocurrencies is an ongoing nearly philosophical debate with plenty of misunderstandings and potentially malicious misinformation.