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Bitcoin under the microscope

26 January 2021

Graphic of person looking at bitcoin through microscope

The Cardiff University Bitcoin Database (CUBiD) was the focus of a special Financial Technology edition of Cardiff Business School’s Breakfast Briefing Series on 26 January 2021.

The briefing got underway with an introduction by Chair Arman Eshraghi, Professor of Finance and Investment at Cardiff Business School and Co-Director of the Cardiff Fintech Research Group.

As well as outlining some of the aims, objectives, and areas of interest in Financial Technology at Cardiff Business School, Professor Eshraghi offered a short exploration of Bitcoin.

“As the mother of all cryptocurrencies we know that it divides opinion. We know that some view it as a currency or a financial asset, while others do not. We think that the best way to understand what Bitcoin is, is to dig down and look at the Bitcoin network and how it all works.”

Professor Arman Eshraghi Professor of Finance and Investment, Deputy Head of Section for Research, Impact and Innovation

Shortly after, Dr Hossein Jahanshahloo, Lecturer in Finance at Cardiff Business School and creator of CUBiD, began his presentation by expanding on Professor Eshraghi’s introduction.

He started by comparing centralised and distributed ledger systems and showed how in Bitcoin, an example of the latter, transactions are organised into blocks and linked together in what is known as a blockchain.

Dr Jahanshahloo said: “In a nutshell, Bitcoin is a set of transactions that are cryptographically linked to each other and organised into blocks. Technically, you can consider Bitcoin as the collection of all the transactions in a closed system such as a bank or an economy,” he added.

After explaining some of the fundamental principles of financial technology and cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, next Dr Jahanshahloo introduced attendees to CUBiD.

Developed and created in 2020 by Dr Jahanshahloo, CUBiD enables easy access to the wealth of Bitcoin network data in a usable and structured format.

As well as describing the way CUBiD operates, Dr Jahanshahloo showed how it can be used in research, teaching and trading as well as its regulatory and legal applications.

“The Financial Action Task Force has implemented regulations on all digital currency transactions to combat the increase in fraudulent transactions, such as money laundering and terrorist financing. But the fines developed and know your customer verification and anti-money laundering checks should be more robust. Screening of this kind is a necessity for cryptobusinesses and CUBiD is here to help achieve this.”

Dr Hossein Jahanshahloo Lecturer in Finance

Before joining Professor Eshraghi and briefing attendees for a question and answer session, Dr Jahanshahloo brought proceedings to a close with further examples of CUBiD’s application in areas of tax reform, accounting and economic theory.

Cardiff Business School's Breakfast Briefing Series is a network of events which enables business contacts to find out more about the latest research and key developments from industrial partners.

Following lockdown measures, implemented by Welsh Government in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the School’s Executive Education Team has moved the series online.

If you were unable to attend, watch this recording of the event.

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