Decrypting Cryptoassets: Introduction To An Emerging Asset Class

36 Pages Posted: 15 Nov 2018 Last revised: 16 Sep 2019

Date Written: August 1, 2019

Abstract

This paper, which is intended for a nontechnical audience, aims at explaining the blockchain technology and addressing misconceptions about crypto-assets. We define crypto-assets as all assets that are based on a distributed blockchain. The greatest misunderstanding consists of the fact that not all crypto-assets are cryptocurrencies. It is true that each distributed blockchain has a native currency. However, it primarily serves as an incentive mechanism for individuals to maintain and update a network. Crypto-assets can also be used as a means of cloud storage or cloud computing. Understanding how different crypto-assets interact with blockchain and what other purpose (if any) the native currency fulfills is key to establishing a comprehensive classification. Crypto-assets present two main categories: blockchain and protocol crypto-assets. Each main category presents several subgroups that are discussed in detail throughout this paper.

Keywords: Cryptoasset, Cryptocurrency, Blockchain, Network Dynamics, Consensus Mechanism, Heterogeneity, Classification, Coins and Tokens

JEL Classification: G19, G23

Suggested Citation

Buchwalter, Bastien, Decrypting Cryptoassets: Introduction To An Emerging Asset Class (August 1, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3271641 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3271641

Bastien Buchwalter (Contact Author)

ESSEC Business School ( email )

3 Avenue Bernard Hirsch
CS 50105 CERGY
CERGY, CERGY PONTOISE CEDEX 95021
France

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