Digital Currency Innovation Lab

Learn about Blockchain, Digital, and Crypto Currency

Blockchain technology and crypto currencies have the potential to reshape and improve Hawaii's economy


cryptographic hash function

The word "crypto" in crypto currency refers to the cryptographic hashing that is involved in the proof of work function used to verify transactions on the public ledger. Each cryptocurrency has their own cryptographic hashing and ledger scheme but at the heart of it is a hash function. All transactions are grouped together by time and hashed together to create what is called a block.


blockchain education

When all transactions for a given time period, about every 10 minutes for bitcoin, are hashed together they create a "block". These blocks contain the hash of a previous block, all the transactions for that timeframe and the current hash of the block. A hash is a series of bits, often represented as letters and numbers, that result from a hash function. A hash function creates a unique hash for any given input. Having the hash from the previous block contained in the current block creates the concept of a chain which links every block to the previous block before it; hence chain of blocks or blockchain


bitcoin logo

Bitcoin is a single unit of a digital currency. Bitcoin was the first example of a cryptocurrency and blockchain implementation. Bitcoin has a deflationary model in that the number of bitcoins in circulation is finite. A unique and advantageous quality of bitcoin and digital currency that sets it apart from fiat currencies like the dollar is that these cryptocurrencies can be divided into fractional amounts where as the smallest dollar value is a penny.

Inter Planetary File System

interplanetary file system

Inter Planetary File System (IPFS) is a concept that is based off of blockchain technology. The idea is that data can be stored on the blockchain and distributed for the benefit of robustness and accessibility. The blockchain is immutable which means that it cannot be changed. What is written to blockchain remains on the blockchain. Thus (IPFS) utilizes this idea to create persistent storage that can be accessed at anytime. This is advantageous when compared to cloud services such as Dropbox and Google Drive because if any of these service providers servers are compromised, the data will be loss. Yes, they implement redundancy but with IPFS every node participating in the network contains a copy of the data and can be recovered. An attack or disaster would have to take out all nodes for all data to be loss, which is a low probability. Many decentralized applications are beginning to use IPFS and IPFS like storage schemes to house their data.


Decentralized applications or DAPPS are applications that run on the blockchain in a decentralized fashion.

Purchasing FAQ

What are some important topics?
Important differences between centralized and decentralized
Do I need to understand the cryptographic has or blockchain to use digital currencies?
No, cryptocurrency use does not require this knowledege but it is handy to know