Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies
Blockchain technology is likely to transform the world of banking and signed documents in the coming decades, similar to how e-mail and mobile messaging transformed post offices, telephones, and photography over the past few decades. Blockchain applications development in the 2010s has so far been comparable to how web pages evolved in the 1990s. By 2017, markets in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies and tokens have grown to a value of over US$100 billion to levels many consider a manic bubble. This chapter aims to explain the essentials of blockchain, cryptocurrencies, and the example case of Bitcoin to hopefully help these technologies understood for some of their many excellent potential applications rather than as simplistic vehicles of speculation. In other words, the “outside the box” idea is not to simply try and by an ICO with the blind hope of making money, but rather in understanding how blockchain applications work and should be valued.