Our most read explainers about the world of crypto

Dec 19th 2021CRYPTOCURRENCIES, AND the technology on which they are built, have forced their way into the financial mainstream. Over the past year “non-fungible tokens” (NFTs) sold for record amounts, central banks flirted with their own digital currencies and even The Economist joined the hype, auctioning our cover as an NFT for charity. Below is a selection of our explanatory articles from the past year on cryptocurrencies and the innovations they have spawned.The Economist todayHandpicked stories, in your inboxA daily newsletter with the best of our journalismWhy have prices of cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin, fallen—again? (December)Virtual coins are especially vulnerable when investors get nervousWhy we are selling our cover as an NFT (October)How we set it up—and decided it was worth doingWhat is an NFT? (October)“Non-fungible tokens” use cryptocurrencies’ blockchains to sell original versions of digital artefactsCan bitcoin be bettered? (June)Other cryptocurrencies require less energy to validate transactions, but they bring problems of their ownWhat is the metaverse? (May)The limitless successor to the internet, first imagined by Neal Stephenson 30 years agoWhat is the fuss over central-bank digital currencies? (February)For central banks, digital cash offers a safer, faster and more flexible alternative to notes and coinsIs there a topic related to cryptocurrencies that you would like our writers to explain? Please send your suggestions and feedback to [email protected]More from The Economist explains:FAQs on the covid-19 pandemicOur most popular explainers of 2021Our most read shortage explainers of 2021Our most read climate explainers of 2021

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