The use of blockchain technology has seen a tremendous growth during the last few years and can be applied in a large variety of sectors (e.g. trade and commerce, healthcare, governance etc.). Potential applications of the blockchain technology can include fund transfers, pledging of collateral, registration of shares, settling trades, voting, and many other issues.
In its most widely used form nowadays, blockchain is the technology that forms the backbone of the crypto-market. It is the technology behind the large variety of cryptocurrencies currently in circulation (i.e. the technology that cryptocurrencies can run).
Blockchain is one type of so-called distributed ledger technology (“DLT”). DLT is a way of recording and sharing data across multiple electronic ledgers, which each have the exact same data records and are collectively maintained and controlled by a distributed network of computer, which are called nodes.
Blockchain is a mechanism that employs an encryption method known as cryptography and uses (a set of) specific mathematical algorithms to create and verify a continuously growing data structure – to which data can only be added and from which existing data cannot be removed – that takes the form of a chain of “transaction blocks”, which functions as a distributed ledger.
Cryptocurrencies or Cryptos has become a “buzzword” recently which refers to a form of virtual/digital currencies (i.e. a digital representation of value, issued by private developers and denominated in their own unit of account) that utilise a technological technique better known as cryptography.
In simple terms, cryptography is the technique of protecting information by transforming it (i.e. encrypting it) into an unreadable format that can only be decrypted by someone who possesses a secret key. Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, are secured via this technique using an ingenious system of public and private digital keys.
ICO (Initial Coin Offering)
An ICO is a new way of raising money from the public, using so-called coins or tokens. In an ICO, a business or individual issues coins or tokens and puts them for sale in exchange for fiat currencies, such as the Euro, or more often virtual currencies, e.g. Bitcoin or Ether.
ICOs are used to raise funds for a variety of projects, including but not limited to businesses leveraging on the Blockchain.
The features and purpose of the coins or tokens vary across ICOs:
- Some coins or tokens serve to access or purchase a service or product that the issuer develops using the proceeds of the ICO (usually called utility tokens);
- Others provide voting rights or a share in the future revenues of the issuing venture (usually called security or asset tokens);
- Some have no tangible value; and
- Some coins or tokens are traded and/or may be exchanged into fiat or virtual currencies at specialised coin exchanges after issuance.
How can MAP S.Platis assist you?
MAP S.Platis with its multidisciplinary team can offer a range of services in relation to Cryptocurrencies and ICOs. Learn more about our services on blockchain, cryptos and ICOs here.