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Cryptocurrencies are digital currencies that exist exclusively in digital form and are based on cryptography. In contrast to other digital currencies, they are not based on a trusted intermediary to validate if a transaction between two unknown participants took place. Instead, the transactions are controlled in a decentral manner . Nevertheless, just as with ordinary currencies, users can send and receive money, sell and buy goods and apply for a loan .
Meanwhile, there are over 5000 different cryptocurrencies also called altcoins. The best known and most successful cryptocurrency is Bitcoin, which was created in 2009. The second largest cryptocurrency is Ether, it belongs to the open source platform Ethereum for DLTs (status 04/2020) . Unlike legal currencies, the tokens are not dependent on central banks and are therefore not controllable and unregulated. As a result the focus is not only on monetary functions and payment but on the proof of authenticity, identity and ownership.
Each cryptocurrency account has a private and a public key. To send and receive payments, a private key and a public key are created . The public key is the address and the private key verifies the authenticity of the payment through a signing. Once the transaction is verified, it is stored on the Blockchain.