Encyclopedia of Business and Professional Ethics

Living Edition
| Editors: Deborah C Poff, Alex C. Michalos

Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies, the Relevance for Business Ethics

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-23514-1_1265-1



Bitcoin and the underlying technology of Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) also known as Blockchain first touched surface with a whitepaper authored under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto (2008) regarding Bitcoin, the first and up-to-date most broadly known cryptocurrency. The current value of only the principal cryptocurrency Bitcoin has surpassed 1 trillion USD in February (Forbes 2021) and its exchange rate is characterized by risky volatilities allowing for extreme gains and losses, possibly also leading to macroeconomic instability.

Bitcoin has since been emulated by more than 4500 different cryptocurrencies or altcoins (Statista 2021). The groundbreaking novelty of blockchains consists in decentralized registers, where every transaction is verified without a central authority and then saved on a “chain” of henceforth unmodifiable data blocks. Apart from cryptocurrencies and their employment for...

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Corporate Social Responsibility and Business Ethics, Faculty of Communication SciencesUniversità della Svizzera italiana (USI)LuganoSwitzerland
  2. 2.Institut für PolitikwissenschaftUniversität TübingenTübingenGermany

Section editors and affiliations

  • Deborah Poff
    • 1
  1. 1.Past President, Brandon UniversityOttawaCanada