Tecnologías - Usos  

As is well known, since its appearance in 2009, when SATOSHI NAKAMOTO (a man of whom it is not known whether he responds to a real identity or to a unique pseudonym of an individual or group of people) launched the BITCOIN software, creating the network of the same name and the first currency units.

Blockchain and DLTs have indeed come to stay and be useful. As the most notorious field of use, it is worth highlighting the financial field; as is well known, Blockchain owes its success to the fact that it constitutes Bitcoin.

It is important to distinguish virtual currencies (a term that, by the way, is the one that seems to be imposed in legal texts) whose purpose is to serve as an alternative means of payment and those that correspond to other purposes, such as accrediting the contribution of capital to certain projects, either free of charge, or with the purpose of obtaining remuneration through the participation of profits, in the form of interest or by obtaining advantages of acquiring goods or services offered by the financed project.

Cryptocurrencies should not, and certainly cannot, become a general substitute for fiat money, but they can be a useful instrument when tokens are used in accordance with the following additional uses:

  1. As negotiable securities with effects similar to shares.
  2. As a reflection of project financing contributions in exchange for which advantages are obtained in the subsequent use of the product or service.
  3. As a vehicle for patronage or solidarity contribution.
  4. As a right to promotional prizes within the framework of a company's customer loyalty policies.

However, the inventor of the second important blockchain, after Bitcoin, ETHERUM, already pointed out that variety of potential uses beyond the financial. In general there are three types of applications in Etherum:

  1. Financial applications that provide users with more powerful ways to manage and write contracts using their money.
  2. Semi-financial applications, where money is involved but there is also a strong non-monetary component (e.g. autoplay rewards)
  3. Applications that allow voting online or develop forms of decentralized governance, and that have nothing to do with finances.

In all the above cases, the virtual currency lacks listed risks and offers far from negligible advantages, such as the traceability of operations, the security provided depending on how the protocol is designed, the speed of settlement or the economic nature of some operations that did not need intermediaries.

In order to adequately articulate these possible uses of virtual currencies, a decisive regulatory action would be necessary to establish a precise framework for the development of this activity, providing legal security.

Cryptocurrencies respond more to the categories of negotiable securities, so their issuance through ICOs, and their negotiation, must be subject to the same guarantees and requirements as those.

Regarding their use as a means of payment, virtual currencies could present some interesting results in the case of cross-border payments, in terms of economy and immediacy.

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