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GEAB 127

The monthly bulletin of LEAP (European Laboratory of Political Anticipation) - 15 Sep 2018

The challenge of the institutionalisation of cryptocurrencies

While the wave of buzz and hype around cryptocurrencies, or virtual currencies, is running out of steam among people in general,[1] the movement that has emerged remains robust. The versatility of the technology, its deployment in a digital context which can quickly reach millions of people, its potentially anonymous character and the place it could take in the global financial system, cause people to dream or to tremble depending on the circumstances and the role that they have.

The dream, for many, is nourished by the fact that this network is full of innovation[2], promises of fluidification of society, disintermediation… It attracts a large number of investors from all directions; from financial institutions to individual citizens attracted by its potential uses and/or price volatility.

This technology promises a new world based on what we could call an augmented transaction; one which carries within itself the legal and contractual characteristics of a peer-to-peer transaction that relates to services or goods used or acquired in real life or the virtual world.[3]

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