Cryptocurrencies are exchangeable digital units of value enabled or secured by the use of cryptography. A common analogy states that cryptocurrencies are to cash what email was to mail, depicting them as a further step of Internet-enabled services. Different instantiations of cryptocurrency exist, but the term is strongly associated with decentralized ledger technology, commonly known as a blockchain, of which the first example was Bitcoin, and introduced in 2008. Instead of relying on a centralized authority, cryptocurrencies aim to achieve a secure exchange of digital units of value guaranteed by computational tools. They are a relatively recent addition to the history of the Internet, with the first attempts of implementation occurring in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Blockchains have grown most rapidly, however, since ...

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