After the (virtual) Gold Rush : Is bitcoin more than a speculative bubble?

Internet Policy Review 7 (4) (2018)
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Abstract

How promising is Bitcoin as a currency? This paper discusses four claims on the advantages of Bitcoin: a more stable currency than state-backed ones; a secure and efficient payment system; a credible alternative to the central management of money; and a better protection of transaction privacy. We discuss these arguments by relating them to their philosophical roots in libertarian and neoliberal theories, and assess whether Bitcoin can effectively meet these expectations. We conclude that despite its advocates’ enthusiasm, there are good reasons to doubt that Bitcoin can fulfill its promises and act as a functioning currency, rather than as a mere speculative asset.

Author Profiles

Maxime Lambrecht
Catholic University of Louvain
Louis Larue
Aalborg University

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