A Software Engineering Perspective on Cryptocurrencies

Hofer, Nicolas

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URL: https://ub-madoc.bib.uni-mannheim.de/37482
URN: urn:nbn:de:bsz:180-madoc-374828
Document Type: Final Thesis , Diplom
Year of publication: 2014
Place of publication: Mannheim
University: Universität Mannheim
Evaluator: Atkinson, Colin
Date of oral examination: October 2014
Publication language: English
Institution: School of Business Informatics and Mathematics > Software Engineering (Atkinson 2003-)
Subject: 004 Computer science, internet
Subject headings (SWD): Software Engineering
Keywords (English): Cryptography , Cryptocurrencies , Monetary theory and banking , Software engineering
Abstract: This work evaluates a digital cash phenomenon, called cryptocurrencies that was started in early 2009 and has created a buzz at the latest in the year 2013, by the virtual explosion of prices in currencies (e.g. prices in EUR or USD) for certain cryptocurrencies, especially for bitcoin. The evaluation is realized from the perspective of a software engineer. The central research question is derived of a claim made by the Bitcoin community: Bitcoin does create “a new kind of money”. The potential implications for existing payment systems would be tremendous if this proves to be substantial. This issue is examined by performing a requirements analysis for payment systems in general, thereby establishing certain definitions and understandings of terms, including ‘money’. An analysis and evaluation is also done for the Banking Payment System (BPS) and the Cryptocurrency Payment System (CPS) with the target to be able to draw conclusions for the CPS by comparing the two payment systems. Furthermore a detailed evaluation of Bitcoin (first letter capitalized!) and its proposed money called ‘bitcoin’ (non-capitalized!) is carried out by reverse engineering parts of the software project using modeling technology that is known in model driven software development.

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