$1 MILLION (Prize amount to be confirmed. Announcement expected for next year)
A cryptocurrency is a digital asset designed to work as a medium of exchange wherein individual coin ownership records are stored in a ledger existing in a form of computerized database using strong cryptography to secure transaction records, to control the creation of additional coins, and to verify the transfer of coin ownership.
It typically does not exist in physical form (like paper money) and is typically not issued by a central authority.
Cryptocurrencies typically use decentralized control as opposed to centralized digital currency and central banking systems.
When a cryptocurrency is minted or created prior to issuance or issued by a single issuer, it is generally considered centralized.
When implemented with decentralized control, each cryptocurrency works through distributed ledger technology, typically a blockchain, that serves as a public financial transaction database.
Cryptocurrency mining consumes significant quantities of electricity and has a large associated carbon footprint. In 2017, bitcoin mining was estimated to consume 948MW, equivalent to countries the scale of Angola or Panama, respectively ranked 102nd and 103rd in the world.