So far in this book, we saw digital currencies issued by digital platforms. These innovations are a good object to start with when analyzing the economics of digital currencies. However, when people hear “digital currency,” their first thoughts will likely be “cryptocurrencies” and “Bitcoin.” This is not surprising: for the past few years, these terms have appeared frequently in popular media, in technical discussions, and even in policy debates and legislation. We now move on to this second type of digital currencies, specify the main differences with platform-based digital currencies, and discuss what implications such differences have for the economics of cryptocurrencies and for their potential widespread adoption.
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