The online marketplace has its own means of payment. Whether in virtual online worlds or with coupons handed out for marketing purposes, digital currencies often serve to guide money into a closed business cycle and keep it there. A special feature of this comes in the form of so-called cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, which are decentrally encrypted and therefore require no central administration.
Where they were once of interest in times of financial crisis chiefly as investments, cryptocurrencies are now becoming widely used even offline as an accepted method of payment. The competition between state and digital currencies will change the trade and finance sectors considerably.