Sociological and Political Aspects of Cryptocurrencies

Étienne Perrot, SJ

 Étienne Perrot, SJ / Economics / 27 October 2021

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A new appetite for cryptocurrencies arose last year, and it has not diminished during this course of 2021. Why? These currencies are more secure, being now better supervised by the public authorities, but they still scare political leaders who react by imposing  increasingly intrusive regulations. They are also looking to launch their own cryptocurrencies, the central bank digital currencies.

The main technical aspects of these cryptocurrencies are easy to summarize. Their base is the blockchain, which is a technology for storing and transmitting digital data. It’s probable industrial origins reduce the number of intermediaries who are responsible for verifying and preserving the data of the traders in a lasting and always verifiable form.

The principle of the blockchain is very simple: every transaction is encrypted in such a way that it integrates in blocks in its cryptogram all of the preceding transactions. This, in monetary matters, prevents anyone from involvement without having the necessary money first. Hence, no bouncing checks, no fear of bankruptcy, no blind trust in an intermediary – since there is no intermediary.

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