For the 20th century brand, see ecash. It exhibits properties similar to physical currencies, but bitcoin wiki plastic for instantaneous transactions and borderless transfer-of-ownership. Digital currency is a money balance recorded electronically on a stored-value card or other device.
Another form of electronic money is network money, allowing the transfer of value on computer networks, particularly the Internet. Digital money can either be centralized, where there is a central point of control over the money supply, or decentralized, where the control over the money supply can come from various sources. In 1983, a research paper by David Chaum introduced the idea of digital cash. It filed for bankruptcy in 1998. In 1997, Coca-Cola offered buying from vending machines using mobile payments. Other system such as e-gold followed suit, but faced issues because it was used by criminals and was closed by U. S Department of Justice in 2005.
Origins of digital currencies date back to the 1990s Dot-com bubble. One of the first was E-gold, founded in 1996 and backed by gold. According to the Bank for International Settlements’ November 2015 “Digital currencies” report, it is an asset represented in digital form and having some monetary characteristics. Digital currency can be denominated to a sovereign currency and issued by the issuer responsible to redeem digital money for cash. As such, bitcoin is a digital currency but also a type of virtual currency. Bitcoin and its alternatives are based on cryptographic algorithms, so these kinds of virtual currencies are also called cryptocurrencies. Most of the traditional money supply is bank money held on computers.