Institute of the Weltethos Foundation
at the University of Tübingen

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New Paper on Blockchains, Cryptocurrencies and their Relevance for Business Ethics

On October 31st former institute director Prof. Dr. Claus Dierksmeier together with Dr. Peter Seele published the article “Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies, the Relevance for Business Ethics” in the Encyclopedia of Business and Professional Ethics (Springer).

Introduction:

Bitcoin and the underlying technology of Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) also known as Blockchain first touched surface with a whitepaper authored under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto (2008) regarding Bitcoin, the first and up-to-date most broadly known cryptocurrency. The current value of only the principal cryptocurrency Bitcoin has surpassed 1 trillion USD in February (Forbes 2021) and its exchange rate is characterized by risky volatilities allowing for extreme gains and losses, possibly also leading to macroeconomic instability.

Bitcoin has since been emulated by more than 4500 different cryptocurrencies or altcoins (Statista 2021). The groundbreaking novelty of blockchains consists in decentralized registers, where every transaction is verified without a central authority and then saved on a “chain” of henceforth unmodifiable data blocks.

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