Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it. Andre Gide

Thursday, December 21, 2017

My perspective on the Bitcoin Project (collected works)


It's true, I really did say that.
It's Christmas time and I'm in a giving mood. So I thought I'd collect all my writings and talks related to Bitcoin and blockchain in one easy-to-access spot.

Like many people, I first took notice of Bitcoin in 2013, after its price soared to over $1000, before plummeting significantly. Thank goodness I didn't buy any back then (D'oh!). Many economists dismissed the phenomenon as just another bubble/scam. This was my initial instinct as well, but after checking under the hood, I discovered something intriguing and worth learning more about.


Bitcoin/blockchain is generally much better understood today than it was back then, although an air of mystery persists. But the concept is not very complicated at all, even if the underlying mechanics are. I liken this situation to how we understand machines. For example, most of us roughly understand how an internal combustion engine works, even if we don't know enough to build or repair one ourselves. Hopefully, you'll find some similar level intuition in my writings on the subject below.  You may also find my posts and presentations of interest because I approach the subject from the perspective of an academic / central banker.

I list my blog posts and talks on the subject below in chronological order (to monitor how my thinking evolves on the subject).



[1] Why Gold and Bitcoin Make Lousy Money. April 23, 2013. Link to blog post.
[2] Bitcoin and Beyond: The Possibilities and Pitfalls of Virtual Currencies. Dialogue with the Fed (a public lecture hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis), March 31, 2014. Slide deck. Link to presentation.

[3] The Virtual Currency Revolution. Opening address at the DATA annual meeting, April 10, 2014. Link to presentation.
[4] Cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin and Beyond. SFU Vancouver Speakers Series, July 7, 2014. Link to presentation.
[5] Bitcoin and Beyond: The Possibilities and Pitfalls of Virtual Currency. Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, Jacksonville Branch, November 16, 2014. Updated slide deck.
[6] Bitcoiners: Surely We Can Do Buiter Than This? November 27, 2014. Link to blog post.
[7] Money and Payments, or How We Move Marbles. February 1, 2015. Link to blog post.

[8] Fedcoin: On the Desirability of a Government Cryptocurrency. International Workshop on P2P Financial Systems, Frankfurt, February, 2015. Link to presentation. Link to related blog post.

[9] Bitcoin: A Decentralized Public-Legder Digital-Asset-Transfer Mechanism. Bendheim Lecture, Princeton University, May 1, 2015. Link to presentation.

[10] Fedcoin and the Implications of Cryptocurrencies Issued by Central Banks. June 15, 2015. Link to podcast.
[11] Bitcoin and Central Banking. November 12, 2015. Link to blog post.
[12] Is Bitcoin a Safe Asset? March 27, 2016. Link to blog post.
[13] Monetary Policy Implications of Blockchain Technology. May 1, 2016. Link to blog post.
[14] Why the Blockchain Should Be Familiar to You, May 5, 2016. Link to blog post.
[15] Can the Blockchain Kill Fake News? December 30, 2016. Link to blog post.

[16] Tyler Cowen on Central Bank Cryptocurrencies. November 27, 2017. Link to blog post

There's still much more I'd like to write about. I find what's happening with BTC fees rather interesting. Somewhere in one of my talks above I speculated that in the long-run, the fees miners charge were likely to rise to Visa and Mastercard rates. It looks like we're well beyond that now, but is this temporary or likely to persist?

The price dynamics right now are astounding, of course. But remember that the success or failure of the Bitcoin Project does not depend on the market price of BTC (as long as it stays above zero). The potential revolution here is in record-keeping. Who knew that accounting might offer so much fun and excitement?

[17] Fedcoin and Blockchain. December 27, 2017. Link to blog post.

No comments:

Post a Comment