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Deep Dive— Blockchain Mini-Series: Cryptocurrencies

Executive Summary

This is the first of two reports in our Blockchain Mini-Series, which covers the latest trends in cryptocurrencies and blockchain applications. In our first report, we focus on cryptocurrencies:

  • The price of Bitcoin soared to all-time-high of $3,000 in June 2017, prompting renewed interest in cryptocurrencies and blockchains worldwide. Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin “are digital currencies which use encryption techniques to regulate the generation of units of currency and verify the transfer of funds, operating independently of a central bank.”
  • There are currently more than 1,000 different cryptocurrencies with a combined market capitalization of over $115 billion. While the existence and growing adoption of digital currencies is based on a solid foundation, the associated risks of owning and investing in cryptocurrencies remain high.
  • In this report, we look at four popular cryptocurrencies—Bitcoin, Ether, Ripple XRP and Litecoin—to gauge the direction of their development and potential for increased adoption.

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