Die Erzeugung von Coins dient allerdings keinem Selbstzweck, denn gleichzeitig werden verschlüsselte Finanztransfers direkt zwischen digitalen Konten abgewickelt. Wichtig hierbei: Es gibt keine zentrale Institution wie beispielsweise eine Bank. Vielmehr führt jeder der beteiligten Rechner ein digitales „Kontobuch“, in welchem jede Transaktion genau aufgeführt wird.

In 1998, Wei Dai published a description of "b-money", characterized as an anonymous, distributed electronic cash system.[12] Shortly thereafter, Nick Szabo described bit gold.[13] Like bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies that would follow it, bit gold (not to be confused with the later gold-based exchange, BitGold) was described as an electronic currency system which required users to complete a proof of work function with solutions being cryptographically put together and published. A currency system based on a reusable proof of work was later created by Hal Finney who followed the work of Dai and Szabo.[citation needed]
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