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First Quarter 2018, 
Vol. 100, No. 1
Posted 2018-01-10

A Short Introduction to the World of Cryptocurrencies

by Aleksander Berentsen and Fabian Schär

This article is a short introduction to cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. The focus of the introduction is on Bitcoin, but many elements are shared by other blockchain implementations and alternative cryptoassets. The article covers the original idea and motivation, the mode of operation and possible applications of cryptocurrencies, and blockchain technology. We conclude that Bitcoin has a wide range of interesting applications and that cryptoassets are well suited to become an important asset class.