Bitcoin, other cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology

Clamor about Bitcoin has been one of the major talking points of 2017. During last year, cryptocurrencies joined the global financial system and gauged the attention of mainstream channels. The present work aims to show advantages as well as critical aspects behind this ‘Cryptomania’, both from financial and information technology point of view.

From an economic perspective, the use of electronic money may facilitate exchange, possibly saving on transaction costs. Anyway, its exchangeability with fiat currencies, such as the US dollar, may also boost a speculative turmoil based on oscillations of the exchange rate.

On the IT side, these new currencies have received significant attention because of their distinguishing technological features. Above all: the use of cryptography, peer-to-peer approach, blockchain technology and mining concept. Assuming first topic is the best known among people, focus will be put on the other three, mentioning also ethical and environmental issues.

While blockchain merely gained traction as the technology underlying Bitcoin, many experts report its possible astonishing applications. Generally, scholars accept and agree on the following strength points: blockchains’ core technical component is consensus and they have the ability to operate in a decentralized setting without relying on a trusted third party.

So, once the Bitcoin speculative bubble will burst, what value will be left? will blockchains strangle or push innovation?

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