Evolution of Digital Money

As people the world over become ever increasingly connected and the fourth industrial revolution[1],[2] beckons, the opportunity presents itself to digitize assets and thereby overhaul the financial eco-system in its entirety through automated digital means. The technology to do this, is already here and it is called the blockchain. Automation allow us to reduce the role and participation of middle men through code and thereby to increase overall efficiency and performance by reducing cost and time, whilst reducing fraud and corruption.

Bitcoin gained widespread public awareness and traction in 2017, however the conceptualization of “Digital Money” pre-dates this as far back as the late 70’s. The movement towards Digital Money was most likely spurred on in Silicon Valley where so called cypherpunks and cryptographers were developing the forefronts of security protocols for computer and internet technology. These groups of people envisioned a new system of trust that was free from central oversight and authority, a system that could be used to overcome conventional elements of trust when two or more parties interacted through anonymous means. This study aims to lay out a fundamental base to piece together the developments that have unfolded in the realm of Digital Money over the past decades. By inspecting where we are and where we are heading, we can position ourselves to make best use of the opportunities presented.