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How much is a bitcoin worth, and why?


The big picture.



Blockchain technologies have a strong transformational potential. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, currently the most well-known blockchain based applications, enable the possibility of a distributed management of secure transactions amongst “anonymous” parties, i.e. payments in this case, without the need of a centralised validation authority.

However, a much wider range of possible applications are emerging for blockchains. Examples include smart contracts, i.e. enforceable, fully-decentralised agreements between independent peers; the possibility of enforcing fairness in distributed protocols, so-far unachieved; and the availability of a public Big Data set of transactions to be explored by Data Scientists to unveil useful knowledge.

Although highly volatile, Bitcoin has a capitalisation of 7 billion USD (doubled over the last year) and is receiving a lot of interest from private companies and institutional partners, noticeably the EU parliament (April 2016). The success of Bitcoin has fostered the development of alternative cryptocurrencies and frameworks for smart contracts, notably Ethereum with a market capitalization of 700 million USD...

Read more:
http://ec.europa.eu/futurium/en/comment/6505

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