Blockchain Technology Working Paper

I have written some detailed thoughts on Blockchain Technology's applications into an academic working paper, with a view of expanding it into a longer academic paper. The working paper is published in the Columbia University Center on Capitalism and Society Working Paper series. Comments and feedback are appreciated.

The Bitcoin Halving and Monetary Competition

Today witnesses the second “halving” event in Bitcoin’s history, during which the growth rate in the supply of bitcoin will drop by half, from an annualized rate around 8% to 4%. These halvings occur roughly once every four years, and ensure the supply of bitcoin continues to grow at an ever-decreasing rate. Three quarters of…

Why altcoins are doomed

Recently on twitter, I mused: https://twitter.com/saifedean/status/743734452128387072 To which my friend Wael El-Sahhar replied: https://twitter.com/whsahhar/status/743735402125615104 What follows is my detailed response: This has been done by hundreds of copycats, from litecoin to dogecoin to ethereum. The reason they are doomed, fundamentally, is that they compete with bitcoin for both the supply and demand for security. What…

The “blockchain technology” fiction

Four months ago I published a piece in American Banker discussing the strangely trendy topic of "blockchain technology", in which I explain my skepticism of the entire notion that "the technology behind bitcoin" could serve any useful function for the financial intermediaries it was specifically designed to replace. Bitcoin's technology is as useful to the banks trying…

Academic Paper on bitcoin

Last year I published an academic paper in the Journal of Private Enterprise analyzing the economics of Bitcoin. Looking back, the parts of the paper with the most relevance today are the ones explaining the functioning of the bitcoin block-chain and the economics of the currency. Recent events make me think the discussion of smart contracts was…

Blaming corporatism for capitalism

Professor Edmund Phelps and I have written an editorial piece with Project Syndicate on corporatism, capitalism and the fatal confusion between the two. I reproduce the whole essay here, courtesy of Project Syndicate The future of capitalism is again a question. Will it survive the ongoing crisis in its current form? If not, will it…

The problem of regulation

Economist Hernando De Soto has a good piece in the Financial Times about the Tunisian economy, particularly pertaining to the heartrending story of Mohammad Bouazizi, the fruit-seller who set himself alight after the Tunisian government banned him from selling his fruits and confiscated his fruit cart. De Soto makes the point that Professor Edmund Phelps…