Blockchain and Crypto‐currencies

Author/s: A Hayes, P Tasca
Published in: The FinTech Book: The Financial Technology Handbook for Investors, Entrepreneurs and Visionaries (Journal)
Publication date: 2016

The notion of an entirely digital form of money has captured the curiosity of economists, computer scientists, and philosophers alike from the time the computer was still young. Both technologies had existed independently: cryptography, useful in encoding email messages, sensitive information and digital files; decentralized, distributed networks with ARPANET giving birth to the internet. Bitcoin mining serves a dual purpose; it is not merely the method of introducing newly created bitcoins. Of more importance, it serves to validate and confirm each transaction on the network, creating a tamper-proof data structure underlying the system known as the blockchain. The potential for cryptocurrencies to revolutionize money and disrupt finance is enormous, but it is only the beginning. Blockchain applications spanning a number of sectors promise to change the way companies and people transact, send payments, sign contracts, transfer ownership of things, and much, much more.