Virtual currencies perceived an increasing interest during the last years. Decentralised and open variants, like Bitcoin, operate independent to authorities like central banks and governments. Such virtual currencies are often referred as free and liberal money. A huge difference and advantage to normal, regulated currencies is that the access and participation in a virtual currency network like the creation of a bank account is not limited by a registration process or solvency check. Account numbers can be created at any time and everywhere. Because account numbers (commonly known as addresses) are not registered by known users, payments and money transfers appear to be pseudonymously. Special approaches are needed when virtual currencies are involved in the investigation of a crime.
The most famous virtual currency is Bitcoin, with a market capitalization of more than $4 Billion. Building blocks of Bitcoin and its derivatives are cryptographic protocols and the use of a public ledger â€“ the blockchain â€“, where a record of all transactions is stored and can be viewed by the public. The aim of the workshop is to give an introduction to virtual currencies on the example of Bitcoin. The workshop includes lecture like introductions to the topic combined with practical trainings.