That said, the central bank still holds what appears to be a positive view on blockchain development, and projects trying to bring genuine services to consumers. That position is also in line with the PBoC’s efforts to study applications of the tech through its digital currency research lab.
A cryptocurrency is a digital currency that is created and managed through the use of advanced encryption techniques known as cryptography. Cryptocurrency made the leap from being an academic concept to (virtual) reality with the creation of Bitcoin in 2009. While Bitcoin attracted a growing following in subsequent years, it captured significant investor and media attention in April 2013 when it peaked at a record $266 per bitcoin after surging 10-fold in the preceding two months. Bitcoin sported a market value of over $2 billion at its peak, but a 50% plunge shortly thereafter sparked a raging debate about the future of cryptocurrencies in general and Bitcoin in particular. So, will these alternative currencies supplant conventional currencies and become as ubiquitous as dollars and euros someday? Or are cryptocurrencies a passing fad that will flame out before long? The answer lies with Bitcoin.
As for blockchain technology itself, it has numerous applications, from banking to the Internet of Things. It is expected that companies will flesh out their blockchain IoT solutions. Blockchain is a promising tool that will transform parts of the IoT and enable solutions that provide greater insight into assets, operations, and supply chains. It will also transform how health records and connected medical devices store and transmit data.
In 1998, Wei Dai published a description of “b-money”, an anonymous, distributed electronic cash system. Shortly thereafter, Nick Szabo created “bit gold”. Like bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies that would follow it, bit gold (not to be confused with the later gold-based exchange, BitGold) was an electronic currency system which required users to complete a proof of work function with solutions being cryptographically put together and published. A currency system based on a reusable proof of work was later created by Hal Finney who followed the work of Dai and Szabo.
“It was good to see that there is governance on Ethereum and that they can fix issues in a timely manner if they have to,” said Eric Piscini, who leads the team looking into virtual currency technology at the consulting firm Deloitte.
That astronomical early valuation alone could become bait for an aggressive regulator. Many founders of legitimate blockchain projects have chosen to remain anonymous because of this fear, in turn creating more opportunities for scams.
^ a b Raeesi, Reza (2015-04-23). “The Silk Road, Bitcoins and the Global Prohibition Regime on the International Trade in Illicit Drugs: Can this Storm Be Weathered?”. Glendon Journal of International Studies / Revue d’études internationales de Glendon. 8 (1–2). ISSN 2291-3920. Archived from the original on 2015-12-22.
There are other types of digital currencies, though we don’t hear much about them. The next most popular is probably Litecoin, which is accepted by some online retailers. It was inspired by Bitcoin and is nearly identical, but it was created to improve upon Bitcoin by using open source design.
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