Crypto is short for “cryptography”, which is the technology used to encrypt and secure transactions across the internet. For example, sending emails, visiting websites with a padlock next to the url or making Bitcoin transactions.
With Bitcoin, miners have to 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” does trigger a few Bitcoiners as they call everything that isn’t Bitcoin, “crypto”, even though Bitcoin is technically a cryptocurrency itself. It is often used interchangeably to describe the whole crypto industry, including Bitcoin, but there’s another word Bitcoiners use to describe all other cryptos.