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A Survey on Cryptocurrencies

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Cryptocurrencies are digital financial assets backed by decentralized blockchain technology that ensure ownership and transfers of value, guaranteeing ownership through ownership transfer agreements. While there are various cryptocurrencies today, they all share key characteristics. Bitcoin has the largest market cap share; other cryptocurrencies known as altcoins may differ slightly but share similar processes and algorithms; mining requires considerable computing power which consumes large amounts of electricity and generates environmental concerns (Prasad 2021).

Contrary to fiat currencies issued by central governments, cryptocurrencies are privately issued and managed, meaning their values often fluctuate wildly and they are yet widely used as mediums of exchange or units of account; rather they tend to be seen more as speculative investments than as mediums of exchange or units of account. Therefore it is crucial for us to understand whether their technologies will ultimately foster strong trust that will enable cryptocurrencies to serve their primary function: media exchange/unit of account use as opposed to speculation assets.

Understanding the potential significant advantages of cryptocurrency for states is also critical, such as greater financial inclusion and cross-border payments. A careful calculation must be conducted of both its costs and gains to accurately understand any possible gains that cryptocurrency might bring; such calculations should take into account both domestic and international conditions in each country, since they will determine how large or small any benefits or losses might be in the event that cryptocurrencies become widespread instruments of exchange or units of account.

Furthermore, the degree to which a country adopts cryptocurrency could have a direct bearing on its international competitiveness as an arena for business activity. Therefore, studying their effects on trade and investment flows may prove helpful.

This special issue explores these and other issues related to the rapid rise of cryptocurrency use, using both traditional and behavioral economic techniques with an eye toward socio-economic, misconduct and sustainability issues.

These studies offer insights into consumer behaviors influencing cryptocurrency use and adoption, such as speculation, algorithm trust, spending power and other measures of consumer spending power. Surveys were conducted among various geographic areas as well as case studies of online exchanges and cryptocurrency wallets.

This article series is part of an effort to develop an agenda for research on cryptocurrency, using both neoclassical and behavioral approaches. The objective is to inform international policymakers, academics, and future discussions of this topic. The authors wish to thank the editorial team for their assistance; as well as all authors whose articles can be found free on publisher websites or individually on an author page in this journal.