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Fintech Ecosystem: the Largest Private Cryptosystems

Abstract

Crisis of traditional financial system and the wave of technological innovations supported the accelerated formation of the global cryptocomplex. The complex is rapidly evolving, by the end of July 2018 there were about 1700 cryptoprojects globally. The cryptocomplex includes separate cryptosystems linked into a single network via cryptocurrencies trade. The article reveals economic nature and business models of the three largest and most famous cryptosystems – Bitcoin, Ethereum и Ripple, which are responsible for about 70% of the global cryptocomplex capitalization. Though Bitcoin and Ethereum try to create the alternative to the traditional financial system, Ripple proposes new cutting edge technological and effective decisions for the existing banking and payments systems. The authors show that the largest global private cryptosystem Bitcoin, whose goal is substitution of fiat money with bitcoin cryptocurrency, in reality is far away from the ideal system of distributed money, which automatically maintains deals between peers via the neutral computer code. Bitcoin, as well as other systems of cryptocurrencies, has inherent hierarchy and vivid monopoly effects. De-facto control over the Bitcoin functioning rests with the largest players, who replaced the central bank. These players are the main beneficiaries of recurrent rise in capitalization of cryptocurrencies. The strategic task of making bitcoin an alternative to fiat money as a mean of payments has failed. Due to the excessive price volatility bitcoin failed to become a worthy alternative to fiat money and traditional assets as a mean of saving for broad categories of investors. Ethereum and Ripple business models are weakly linked to the dynamics of cryptocurrencies development, serving these systems. Ethereum business model provides for maximization of incomes, rents and other benefits for the system creators from its extensive development. Ripple made an economic bet on selling its special digital solutions to traditional players in financial markets. The authors make a conclusion that cryptocurrencies effectively serve interests of the two clienteles. First are the pioneers of financial sector digitalization, including computer programmers, computer engineers, cryptography and game theory experts as well as venture investors working in parallel. Second are economic agents engaged into various illegal and criminal activities. The authors forecast that given the policies of financial markets regulators the pseudo anonymity of transactions in the sector of cryptocurrencies will cease to exist in the nearest future.

Keywords:

cryptosystem; cryptocurrency; Bitcoin; Ethereum; Ripple; bitcoin; ether; XRP; blockchain.


Authors: Stanislav Zhukov, Ivan Kopytin, Alexander Maslennikov

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