The Future of Virtual Currencies

TABLE OF CONTENTS
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About the report
Publication date: November 2014
Number of pages: 78
Charts and tables: 27

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Executive Summary

Introduction
Definitions

The Birth of Modern Alternative Currencies
Setting the Context
A Clash of Values
The Appeal of Virtual Currencies
The Dark Side
The Silk Road
Virtual Currencies as Ponzi Schemes
System D

Technology Overview: From the Genesis Block to a Controlled Supply of Currency

PKC – the Backbone of Virtual Currencies
The Bitcoin Paradigm
The Growth of Virtual Currencies
Comparison of Early Virtual Currencies
Evolution
Mining
Proof-of-Commitment
Cryptographic Algorithms
Difficulty
Rewards
Attacks

Gateways: The On-Ramps and Off-Ramps
Virtual exchanges
Payment Service Providers
Bitcoin ATMs
Virtual Currency Wallets

Future Technology Trajectories

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Consumer Perspectives
Awareness and Usage
Demographics
The Advantages and Disadvantages of Virtual Currencies
Future Usage Intent

Key Opportunity Areas
Overview
International Remittances
P2P Payments
Online Commerce
Micropayments
Unbanking
B2B
Investments
Smart Contracts
Distributed Funding
Other Decentralized Ledger Applications
A Broad-Based Virtual Currency

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Regulation of Virtual Currencies
Role of Regulation
Regulatory Challenges
Regulatory Responses
The Road Ahead

Alternative Futures
Disruptive Potential
Responses to Disruptive Forces
What can Hamper Disruption?
Future Scenarios
Preparing for a Decentralized Future

Appendix
Research Methodology
Desk Research
Executive Interviews
Consumer Research
Analysis
A Note on Future Scenarios

Currency
Acknowledgements

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LIST OF CHARTS AND TABLES

The Appeal of Virtual Currencies
PKC Applications
Elements of a Bitcoin Transaction
The Growth of Virtual Currencies
Virtual Currency Timeline
Comparison of First Generation Virtual Currencies
Choice of Crypto Algorithm
Difficulty
Distribution of Block Reward Intensity
Gateways to Virtual Currencies
Installed Base of Bitcoin ATMs
Venture Funding
Future Technology Trajectories
Bitcoin 2.0 Companies
Consumer Awareness and Usage
Consumer Demographics
Pros and Cons of Virtual Currencies
Consumer Perceptions
Future Usage Intent
Opportunity Areas at a Glance
Goals and Instruments of Regulation
Regulatory Responses
Regulatory Initiatives and Guidance in the USA
Factors Influencing Future Regulatory Trajectories
Disruptive Potential
Future Scenarios
Strategic Imperatives

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The Future of Virtual Currencies, 2014

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