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Cryptocurrencies have a lot of potential, both as major innovations in private money and for their usefulness in protecting financial privacy against state oppression. However, I also think that Bitcoin will not survive. The leading innovators seldom survive because with open competition competitors learn from the innovators’ design mistakes and produce superior products that eventually drive the earlier models out. Bitcoin also has major design flaws, most notably, an innate tendency towards centralisation in the bitcoin mining industry, that undermine its long-term viability. 

I cover Bitcoin in Chapter 4 of New Private Monies and in “Contemporary Private Monetary Systems,” pp. 213-253 in L. H. White, V. J. Vanberg and E. A. Köhler (eds), Renewing the Search for a Monetary Constitution, Cato Institute, Washington DC, 2015.

See also “Bitcoin Will Bite the Dust.” (K. Dowd and M. Hutchinson) Cato Journal, Vol. 35, Number 2 (Spring-Summer 2015), pp. 357-382.


Bitcoin will Bite the Dust,” presentation to the 32nd Annual Cato Institute Monetary Conference, November 17th 2014. 

Blog Postings and Newspaper Articles on Cryptocurrencies

Bitcoin Will Still Bite the Dust,” Coindesk, January 13th 2019.

Hayek-Style Cybercurrency,” Alt-M, May 6th 2015. 

Wanna Invest in a Cryptocurrency? How about LEOcoin?” Cobden Centre blog, 13 April 2015. 

Bitcoin will Bite the Dust,” Alt-M, November 18th 2014. 

Bitcoin is bust: Why investors should abandon the doomed cryptocurrency,” City AM, November 5th 2014. 

The Future of Bitcoin,”The Cobden Centre, November 6th 2014.