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Using Game Theory to Optimize the Pace of New Technology Adoption
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Essential Requirements of a Currency

Essential Functions of a Currency

Essential Characteristics of a Currency

About Bitcoin

What Is Bitcoin?

Advantages of Bitcoin relative to Other Currencies

Disadvantages of Bitcoin relative to Other Currencies

Will Bitcoin Survive as a Global Currency?

Does Bitcoin Satisfy the Essential Requirements of a Currency?

Does Bitcoin Suffer from Fatal Disadvantages?

Conclusions

Useful Articles

Bitcoin is one of the hottest new technologies on the scene. It started out as a niche tool for cyberpunks and anarchists to use to conduct online transactions. However, it has become increasingly embraced by more mainstream users, as global financial crises and massive amounts of government increases in money supplies have continued to wreak havoc on people’s trusts in the traditional financial systems. Some extol Bitcoin as the future of global currency, while others write it off as a speculative bubble and are quick to predict its impending demise. So which is it? Wave of the future or flash in the pan?

Essential Requirements of a Currency

Before we start getting into the nitty gritty of the analysis, let’s first take a step back and ask a fundamental question: Why do we have currency systems?

Before there were currency systems, the barter system was used by people as a means of directly exchanging one good or service for another. However, the barter system had several fundamental disadvantages (see for example, K. Upadhyaya, “4 main disadvantages of Barter System”), such as

•  Need for Double Coincidence of Wants: Barter transactions can be possible only when two people have goods or services that are mutually useful to each other.

•  Lack of Divisibility: Commodities and services cannot be easily sub-divided to effect an evenly valued exchange.

•  Lack of a Common Measure of Value: Barter systems lack a common measure of value.

•  Lack of Store of Value: In a barter system, value can only be stored in the form of commodities, which do not have a stable value over time.

Currency systems evolved to address the fundamental disadvantages of barter systems. Based on the disadvantages of the barter system listed above, then, we can divine the essential functions and requirements of a successful currency system.

Essential Functions of a Currency

The essential functions of a currency follow from the fundamental disadvantages of a barter system (see, for example, K. Upadhyaya, “4 essential functions of Money”)

•  Standard of Value: Currencies serve as common measures of value by enabling all goods and services to be expressed in currency terms.

•  Medium of Exchange: Currencies serve as a medium of exchange by enabling people to sell their goods and services in exchange for currency, and, with that same currency, buy goods and services which they need.

•  Store of Value: Currencies serve as a store of value, where people can store surplus purchasing power in currencies and use them whenever they want.

•  Standard of Deferred Payment: In today’s world people generate substantial utility from being able to establish and use credit, where future payments for current products and services are negotiated in currency terms.

Essential Characteristics of a Currency

Now that we’ve established what the essential functions of a currency are, the next step is to ask: What are the essential characteristics of a currency that will satisfy these functions?

There is general agreement that the following characteristics are essential for a successful currency system (see, for example “What Are the 6 Characteristics of Money”)

•  Acceptability: A successful currency will be generally accepted by members of society in exchange for the provision of goods and services.

•  Divisibility: A successful currency will be divisible into units that will easily accommodate market transactions.

•  Durability: A successful currency will be sufficiently durable so that it cannot be easily damaged, destroyed, or counterfeited.

•  Limited supply: A successful currency will be sufficiently limited in supply (or otherwise possess inherent value), relative to the total value of transactions in which it is used, so as to maintain its value.

•  Portability: A successful currency will be easily transported for use in daily transactions.

•  Uniformity: A successful currency will be uniform so as to be easily identified and measured.

From What Is Economics?, an additional essential characteristic of a currency will also include Liquidity: A successful currency will be quickly and easily exchanged by parties to transactions.

From Money Is What Money Does, a final essential characteristic of a currency will also include Stability: A successful currency will have a stable value over time.

About Bitcoin

What Is Bitcoin?

From Bitcoin.org:

Bitcoin is an open source, P2P, digital currency, a protocol, and a software. Members who join the Bitcoin network download software onto their computers, which then converts their computers into Bitcoin network nodes, thereby forming the P2P system. Network nodes help mine new Bitcoins and process transactions between Bitcoin users.

Technical features

These are the basic features of any Bitcoin-like network.

•  Bitcoins can be transferred between arbitrary nodes on the network.

•  Transactions are irreversible.

•  Double spending is prevented by using a block chain.

•  Transactions are broadcast within seconds and verified within 10 to 60 minutes.

•  Transaction processing and money issuance are carried out collectively through mining.

•  Transactions can be received at any time regardless of whether your computer is turned on or off.

Economic rules

These rules are enforced collectively by the network. While they will not change for Bitcoin, other digital currencies using the same technology may change them to suit their needs.

•  Hard limit of about 21 million bitcoins.

•  Bitcoins are divisible to 8 decimal places yielding a total of approx. 21×1014 currency units.

•  Transactions are cheap, and mostly free.

Advantages of Bitcoin relative to Other Currencies

Bitcoin functions in a completely decentralized system, without any central authority. This means there is no way for its creators (or anyone else) to pervert the system so as to satisfy their own needs. Prior to the advent of Bitcoin, this type of distributed system was not possible, since a central authority has always been needed to prevent an owner from using his same coins more than once, i.e., “the so-called double spending problem.” Bitcoin, however, has solved the double spending problem without the need for a central authority. From Timothy Blee, “The Bitcoin Bubble”

The web has also seen all-purpose digital currencies, from defunct dot-com bubble start-ups Flooz and Beenz, to the slightly more successful e-gold. Unlike cash, however, digital currencies to date have had a third party intermediary monitoring transactions. That’s because digital cash is different from physical cash in one very important way: If I hand you a 100 euro bill, I no longer have it. You can’t be as sure of that, however, when the cash is just 1′s and 0′s. So it’s been necessary to have a trusted intermediary deduct the amount from the payer’s account, and add it to the payee’s.

Bitcoin is the first online currency to solve the so-called “double spending” problem without resorting to a third-party intermediary.

The principle means by which central authorities have historically perverted currency systems has been by inflating supplies of their currencies. Printing more money has enabled The State to spend money it doesn’t have, thereby causing, at best, bouts of inflation, and at worst, bouts of hyperinflation that have ultimately destroyed most currency systems. Bitcoin, on the other hand, is immune from inflation.

From Simon Barber et al, “Bitter to Better — How to Make Bitcoin a Better Currency”:

No central point of trust. … such a purely decentralized system guarantees that no single entity, no matter how initially benevolent, can succumb to the temptation or be coerced by a government into subverting it for its own benefit.

From Tom Simonite, “What Bitcoin Is and Why It Matters”:

“Elaborate controls to make sure that currency is not produced in greater numbers is not something any other currency, like the dollar or the euro, has,” says Russ Roberts, professor of economics at George Mason University. The consequence will likely be slow and steady deflation, as the growth in circulating bitcoins declines and their value rises.

Other than the decentralized system with no prospects for inflation, the most highly touted feature is the ease at which two people, located anywhere geographically, can costlessly effect a monetary exchange in total anonymity from the authorities.  From Felix Salmon, “The Bitcoin Bubble and the Future of Currency”:

Bitcoins were designed to be – and, in many ways, are – the perfect digital currency: they’re frictionless, anonymous, and cryptographically astonishingly secure. For anybody who’s ever suffered the incompetence of a bank, or bristled at the fees involved in just spending money, either domestically or abroad – that is to say, for all of us – the promise of bitcoin is the holy grail of payments. Especially since, to all intents and purposes, bitcoins are invisible to law enforcement and the taxman…

Nikolay Gertchev in “On The Money-ness Of Bitcoins” notes that Bitcoins are imperishable and have the capacity to store wealth at a low cost

Additional benefits of Bitcoin noted by Simon Barber et al, include

Incentives and economic system. Bitcoin’s eco-system is ingeniously designed, and ensures that users have economic incentives to participate... This gives users clear economic incentives to invest spare computing cycles in the verification of Bitcoin transactions and the generation of new Bitcoins…

Divisibility and fungibility. One practical appeal of Bitcoin is the ease with which coins can be both divided and recombined to create essentially any denomination possible…

Versatility, openness, and vibrancy. ... The open-source nature of the project entices the creation of new applications and spurs new businesses…

Scripting. Another salient and very innovative feature is allowing users (payers and payees) to embed scripts in their Bitcoin transactions. Although today’s reference implementations have not fully utilized the power of this feature, in theory, one can realize rich transactional semantics and contracts through scripts, such as deposits, escrow and dispute mediation, assurance contracts, including the use of external states, and so on. It is conceivable that in the future, richer forms of financial contracts and mechanisms are going to be built around Bitcoin using this feature.

Transaction irreversibility. Bitcoin transactions quickly become irreversible. This attracts a niche market where vendors are concerned about credit-card fraud and charge-backs. Through personal communication with a vendor selling specialty magazines, he mentioned that before, he could not conduct business with customers in certain countries where credit-card fraud prevails. With Bitcoin, he is able to extend his business to these countries due to the protection he obtains from the irreversibility of transactions…

Readily available implementations. … not only for the desktop computer, but also for mobile phones…

Disadvantages of Bitcoin relative to Other Currencies

The two gravest problems with the Bitcoin system are (i) its potential for deflation, and (ii) its (current) use as a speculative investment, more so than as a currency.

Bitcoin production will max out at about 21 million Bitcoins. Assuming that Bitcoin survives until the last Bitcoin has been issued, however, there will actually be less than 21 million Bitcoins in circulation, after one accounts for the Bitcoins that are lost in zombie accounts. From Felix Salmon,

…coins whose private key has been forgotten or destroyed — let us call them zombie coins — can never be replaced, resulting in further shrinkage of the money base. For perspective, of the 21M coins maximum, 7M have already been minted; and of those, tens of thousands have reportedly become zombies.

As Bitcoins are used in more and more transactions, a non-increasing number of coins in circulation will cause the value of Bitcoins to increase. This will lead to deflation at best, and hyperdeflation at worst. Felix Salmon notes that as the number of transactions using Bitcoin increases, thereby leading the value of Bitcoins to increase, then

Everything would be constantly going down in price, if you thought in bitcoin terms.

Inflation is bad, but deflation is worse. The reason is that in a deflationary environment, no one spends money — because whatever you want to buy is sure to become cheaper in a few days or weeks. People hoard their cash, and spend it only begrudgingly, on absolute necessities...

The result is an economy which would simply grind to a halt, with massive unemployment and almost no economic activity. In a word, it would be a Depression. In order to have economic growth, you need monetary growth as well — and that’s something which is impossible to achieve in a bitcoin-based system. Currencies such as the dollar, with a central bank which can print money at will, have succeeded for a reason. As economies grow, the money supply has to be able to grow with them. And that’s why bitcoin can never really succeed over the long term.

The second major problem with Bitcoin is its (current) use as a speculative investment. In fact, some argue that Bitcoin is now being used more as an investment vehicle than as a currency. This has come about because the financial crises, together with global bouts of money printing by major governments worldwide, have led many people to lose trust in government, leading them to move their money into tangible forms of wealth, such as gold and alternative, more-trusted currencies, such as Bitcoins. With each new financial crisis, there has been a spike in Bitcoin purchases. As Felix Salmon notes,

Bitcoin has become suddenly popular in Cyprus for obvious reasons: no government can confiscate your bitcoins, or prevent you from transporting them out of the country…

More generally, bitcoins could be emerging as a very useful currency in police states, or anywhere that monetary policy could fail catastrophically. At the end of 2011, for instance, there was a significant uptick of bitcoin activity in Belarus and Ukraine, two countries at severe risk of hyperinflation. If you want to protect your wealth from the policies of your national government, or from the inflationary policies of a heterodox central bank, then bitcoins can be a very good way of doing so in a largely undetectable manner.

In addition to the Bitcoin price spikes associated with financial crises, Bitcoin has also experienced price spikes after it has received media coverage. Again, from Felix Salmon:

The value of bitcoins, it turns out, is highly sensitive to media coverage: a year earlier, in July 2010, the influential technology site Slashdot posted a short item about bitcoin which sent the price soaring tenfold — from less than a cent to about 7 cents per bitcoin — also in a few days. And a single post on Time.com in April was enough to double the price of Bitcoins in a week, from 80 cents to $1.60. Even the article you’re reading now is appearing now because of the current bubble, and will, at the margin, help to continue to inflate it.

These price spikes have, in turn, led to the increasing amounts of speculative investments in Bitcoin. With speculation comes price volatility, as more people try to profit from upturns and downturns in price. However, volatile commodities do not make good currencies. On the contrary, the use of any medium as a currency requires its price to be stable over time.

Another problem that would prevent Bitcoin from completely replacing other currencies (at least in the near future) is the need to pay taxes in local currencies. From Timothy Blee

…the United States government requires taxes to be paid in US dollars. Since federal taxes represent a significant fraction of most peoples’ income, they will continue to demand dollars even if they prefer another currency for day-to-day transactions.

Also, network effects favor currently used currency systems (see, for example, Timothy Blee). Local economies are already set up to accept and process local currencies. Changing to a different currency system would require users to undergo the typical transition costs associated with adopting a new technology. In fact, one of the principle arguments against breaking up the Euro zone and reinstating country-specific currencies is the tremendous transition costs associated with doing so (see, for example, Venitism, “Dissolving the Eurozone”)

On the other hand, as more people have adopted Bitcoin, the associated indirect network effects have led to the appearance of more and more products and services offered by vendors to facilitate and enrich the Bitcoin experience. In other words, the Bitcoin network has been growing quite rapidly to establish its own network.

Additionly, the legality of Bitcoin is speculative. From Edwin Jacobs, “Bitcoin: A Bit Too Far?”:

…the legal framework is complex. There are several important legal aspects, such as data protection and privacy, consumer protection, contractual and private international law issues, e-commerce legislation including liability issues in virtual worlds, and the financial regulatory aspects, know your customer etc. Neither the Bitcoin website nor the text of its software license shed any light on this. Well, not much anyway. The Bitcoin software license (in the license.txt file that one can open after downloading) is in fact just a short license and disclaimer of any liability for the “as is” software. The Bitcoin website(s) refer to some legal questions in the US, but provides few or no answers.

Technically, users of Bitcoin are subject to certain government regulations, but it is not clear how easily the regulations can be enforced. As Charles Babbage in “Virtual Currency: Bits and Bob” notes,

Legally, Bitcoin exchanges are subject to the same regulations as ones trading commodities. For example, an exchange must report any transaction above $15,000, a policy meant to stem money laundering. For the purposes of taxation, meanwhile, reimbursing somebody for a product or service in BitCoins is treated as barter. The tax code makes provisions for such practices, though, admittedly, they can be tough to enforce.

Finally, while users tout the ease at which Bitcoin transactions can be conducted online, applying the Bitcoin system to offline transactions is a bit more problematic. In particular, the use of Bitcoin in offline transactions would require the widespread adoption of the appropriate technologies, as Nikolay Gertchev in “On The Money-ness Of Bitcoins” details (emphasis his):

Indeed, bitcoins are embodied in a specific and highly capital-intensive technology. They can become convenient enough for standard personalized transactions only if both parties of the exchange possess the necessary technology that gives access to bitcoins. Bitcoins can do the job already for internet-based impersonalized purchases, because the marginal cost of the exchange technology they go along with is already almost zero for those who possess it. However, the transposition of that technology in the physical world of common face-to-face shopping (getting a haircut, buying a sandwich, or purchasing vegetables at the local grocery shop) would imply extra costs. True, these costs would decrease progressively as portable smartphones with permanent internet access become more widely used, not only by buyers, but also by sellers. The key point, however, is that bitcoins could become a generalized medium of exchange only through the accessory use of other, specific and physical, goods in an economy that has reached a very high level of technological development.



In trying to understand whether the increased popularity of bitcoins is reflecting the emergence of a new money, we have actually come to a fundamental distinction between virtual and material media of exchange.The latter are technology-embodied and matter-independent; the former are technology-independent and matter-embodied. This distinction is not trivial as it emphasizes the great advantage that material money offers: it is good enough for anybody and at any time, and is independent from individual choices with respect to investment, allocation and maintenance of capital.

Will Bitcoin Survive as a Global Currency?

The discussion in this section will discuss only the economic issues relating to the viability of Bitcoin as a currency. That is, the discussion excludes technical issues, such as whether or not the system is vulnerable to hacking, whether or not P2P systems can provide the computing capacity required for the Bitcoin system to continue to function, etc.

For Bitcoin to become (remain) a viable currency system, it must (i) satisfy the essential functions and characteristics of a currency system, as discussed above, and (ii) not suffer from fatal disadvantages.

Does Bitcoin Satisfy the Essential Requirements of a Currency?

The Bitcoin systems clearly meets the essential functions of a successful currency system: providing a standard of value, a medium of exchange, a store of value, and a standard of deferred payment.

Lets’ take the essential characteristics of a successful currency system one-by-one.

•  Acceptability: A successful currency will be generally accepted by members of society in exchange for the provision of goods and services.

Bitcoin nodes are computers that have joined the Bitcoin network and are able to transact in Bitcoins. According to Bitstats, the current number of nodes to which a connection could be established is 6,587.

Blockchain provides a chart of the historical number of daily Bitcoin transactions. Daily transactions are currently hovering between about 50,000 and 70,000.

A Google search on “places that accept bitcoins” yields 66,000 hits, including https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Trade and https://www.spendbitcoins.com/places

Of course, Bitcoin is still a nascent technology, so the fact that there are relatively few Bitcoin nodes and daily transactions, relative to those for more popular established currencies, is no surprise. It remains to be seen whether the acceptability of Bitcoin will increase over time.

•  Divisibility: A successful currency will be divisible into units that will easily accommodate market transactions.

As mentioned above, each Bitcoin is divisible to eight decimal places, making Bitcoin more divisible than US dollars, which are only divisible to two decimal places.

•  Durability: A successful currency will be sufficiently durable so that it cannot be easily damaged, destroyed, or counterfeited.

While Bitcoins can be lost, they cannot wear out or be damaged like other physical currencies can.

•  Limited supply: A successful currency will be sufficiently limited in supply (or otherwise possess inherent value), relative to the total value of transactions in which it is used, so as to maintain its value.

As mentioned above, the supply of Bitcoins is limited to 21 M. However, Bitcoins have no inherent value, so their acceptance is based solely on users’ faith and confidence in the system.

•  Portability: A successful currency will be easily transported for use in daily transactions.

Bitcoins are easily portable via electronic devices, such as smartphones.

•  Uniformity: A successful currency will be uniform so as to be easily identified and measured.

As Felix Salmon notes, Bitcoins are uniform to the point of being

the most fungible commodity the world had ever seen – to the point at which they would effectively erase the distinction between a commodity and a currency…

•  Liquidity: A successful currency will be quickly and easily exchanged by parties to transactions.

InvestorWords defines liquidity as

The ability of an asset to be converted into cash quickly and without any price discount.

The relatively low volume of daily trades (see next bullet point, Stability) indicates that Bitcoin is not extremely liquid in the sense that one would not be able to sell more than a few tens of thousands of dollars worth of Bitcoins without affecting the market price.

•  Stability: A successful currency will have a stable value over time.

Mt. Gox is the largest and most established Bitcoin trading exchange, accounting for 80% of Bitcoin trade as of July 2011. From BitcoinCharts, here are the four-month and one-month Bitcoin price charts for Mt. Gox:

Mt. Gox 4-Month Bitcoin Price Trading Chart

Mt. Gox 1-Month Bitcoin Price Trading Chart

The price of Bitcoins has obviously not been stable over the past month. However, as mentioned above, the Bitcoin technology is still in its early stages of adoption. The question remains as to how stable it will become if and when more people have joined the Bitcoin network.

Does Bitcoin Suffer from Fatal Disadvantages?

Perhaps the biggest problem noted with Bitcoin is its potential for hyperdeflation. From above, Felix Salmon indicated that

in a deflationary environment, no one spends money — because whatever you want to buy is sure to become cheaper in a few days or weeks.

This suggests that the relevant time period for changes in value of the currency is short – “days or weeks”.

Let’s consider the total maximum number of Bitcoins that will be circulating over time. The supply of Bitcoins is governed by a specific algorithm, which releases Bitcoins into the network at a pre-determined rate, as displayed in the following graph taken from Wikipedia:

Bitcoins can be sub-divided up to eight decimal places, where

0.00000001 bitcoins = 1 satoshi = 1 bitcoin currency unit

Analogously, US dollars can be sub-divided up to two decimal places, where

0.01  US dollars = 1 US cent = 1 US currency unit

Now let’s compare the number of Bitcoin currency units to the actual/estimated (i) number of US currency units, (ii) number of global currency units, and (iii) global GDP.

As a strong believer in complexity theory, I am loathe to believe any global forecasts that extend beyond the next year or two. I generally find forecasts that purport to estimate global conditions over the next 20 years to be laughable, at best. However, purely for the sake of argument (“just for shits and giggles” as a friend used to say), I will provide estimates of the size of future global money supplies and economies.

 

The data show that the supply of Bitcoin units is expected to increase at a faster pace than either US currency units, global currency units, or global GDP, at least for the next several years. After that, the growth in Bitcoin units will slow, relative to the expected growth in the other three statistics. However, there will still be more Bitcoin currency units than global currency units in circulation for the next ten years, until about 2024.

What this says to me is that the eventual supply of Bitcoins may, indeed, be limited. However, when you account for the highly divisible nature of Bitcoins – up to eight decimal places – together with the absolute volume of Bitcoins in circulation, the total number of Bitcoin units relative to global economic activity will be large enough to prevent hyperdeflation, at least for the next decade.

On the other hand, zombie Bitcoins could definitely exacerbate the Bitcoin supply problem.  Entire wallets of Bitcoins are lost each time someone forgets a password, has their unbacked-up computer lost, stolen, or destroyed, etc.  Comparing this nature of lost Bitcoins with the nature of lost bills (dollars, euros, etc.), I get the sense that the portion of Bitcoins that are permanently lost will outweigh that of other currencies.  And a high incidence of lost Bitcoins definitely has the potential to significantly cut into their supply, thereby hastening the decline in the number of Bitcoin currency units relative to global currency units suggested in the previous figures.

The second big disadvantage of Bitcoin is its current use as a speculative vehicle, which has been causing the value of Bitcoins to be quite unstable. I believe that the use of Bitcoin as a speculative investment is due to a combination of

•  the current global financial crises and peoples’ loss of trust in fiat currencies,

•  all the media hype surrounding Bitcoin

•  the early stage of Bitcoin adoption and use by society.

If this is, in fact, the case, then if and when

•  the financial crisis starts to wane,

•  the media hype dies down, and

•  Bitcoin becomes more widely adopted,

I think the speculative nature surrounding Bitcoin will dissipate and the currency (or some version of it) will have a chance at becoming a real alternative to other currencies.

Conclusions

I don’t think Bitcoin, or any other digital currency, will replace fiats currencies anytime soon, for several reasons, including,

•  There will be a need for citizens to pay taxes in local currencies at least for the near future.  The demand for fiat currencies will exist as long as this requirement exists.

•  Many transactions require either a paper trail or some other form of accountability.  The use of Bitcoins for these types of transactions would be inappropriate.

•  Many transactions require the potential for chargebacks.  Again, the use of Bitcoins for these types of transactions would be inappropriate.

•  As per the technology issue explained by Nikolay Gertchev passage above, It will take some time before everyone who conducts transactions has access to the technology required to store and process Bitcoins.

Yet, Bitcoins definitely do provide some very attractive advantages over traditional fiat currencies, such as immunity to hyperinflation or other such perversions, low transaction costs, ease of use for online transactions, etc.  As such, I do think that Bitcoin, or some version of Bitcoin, could easily co-exist as a complement to other global, physical currencies.   As Felix Salmon says,

A peer-to-peer payments system, allowing anybody on the internet to pay anybody else on the internet without having to sign up with some financial-services behemoth first, could revolutionize global commerce. It would have to be able to work with any currency, including bitcoin; it wouldn’t need its own unit of account. It would have to be flexible, too: some transactions would be cashlike and irreversible, while others would allow some kind of chargeback.

Useful Articles

Charles Babbage (June 13, 2011), “Virtual Currency: Bits and Bob”, The Economist

Simon Barber, Xavier Boyen, Elaine Shi, and Ersin Uzun “Bitter to Better — How to Make Bitcoin a Better Currency”

Timothy Blee (April 18, 2011), “The Bitcoin Bubble”

Timothy Blee (April 19, 2011), “Bitcoin’s Collusion Problem”

Jerry Brito (April 16, 2011), “Online Cash Bitcoin Could Challenge Governments, Banks”, Time

Tuur Demeester (November 2012), “The Gloom of Central Banking”, ZeroHedge

Nikolay Gertchev (April 4, 2013), “On The Money-ness Of Bitcoins”, ZeroHedge

Edwin Jacobs (June 25, 2011), “Bitcoin: A Bit Too Far?” Interview with EFF

Jon Matonis (November 3, 2012), “ECB: ‘Roots of Bitcoin Can Be Found in the Austrian School of Economics”, Forbes

Felix Salmon (April 3, 2013), “The Bitcoin Bubble and the Future of Currency”, MIT Technology Review

Tom Simonite (May 25, 2011), “What Bitcoin Is and Why It Matters”

James Surowiecki (August 23, 2011), “Cryptocurrency”, MIT Technology Review

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