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Blockchains and Distributed Ledgers in Retrospective and Perspective

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  • Alexander Lipton

Abstract

We introduce blockchains and distributed ledgers and describe their potential applications to money and banking. The analysis compares public and private ledgers and outlines the suitability of various types of ledgers for different purposes. Furthermore, a few historical prototypes of blockchains and distributed ledgers are presented, and results of their hard forking are illustrated. Next, some potential applications of distributed ledgers to trading, clearing and settlement, payments, trade finance, etc. are outlined. Monetary circuits are argued to be natural applications for blockchains. Finally, the role of digital currencies in modern society is articulated and various forms of digital cash, such as central bank issued electronic cash, bank money, bitcoin and P2P money, are compared and contrasted. Keywords: blockchains, distributed ledgers, digital currencies, modern monetary circuit; credit creation banking; interconnected banking network.

Suggested Citation

  • Alexander Lipton, 2017. "Blockchains and Distributed Ledgers in Retrospective and Perspective," Papers 1703.01505, arXiv.org.
  • Handle: RePEc:arx:papers:1703.01505
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    1. Allen, William R, 1993. "Irving Fisher and the 100 Percent Reserve Proposal," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(2), pages 703-717, October.
    2. Barrdear, John & Kumhof, Michael, 2016. "The macroeconomics of central bank issued digital currencies," Bank of England working papers 605, Bank of England.
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