Bitcoin is king

In J. Liebowitz (ed.), Cryptocurrency: Concepts, Technology, and Issues. Taylor & Francis. pp. 175-197 (2023)
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Paul Krugman and others deny that bitcoin has legitimate uses. Critics like Krugman also fail to distinguish bitcoin from other cryptocurrencies. But once we isolate bitcoin from the rest of the field, we see how special, and how useful, it is. In this chapter, we explain why bitcoin is unique among cryptocurrencies as a credibly neutral monetary asset and why this is important. Its uniqueness doesn’t owe entirely to its age (as the oldest) or market ranking (as the most valuable). As a credibly neutral monetary asset, bitcoin solves problems for those in less than ideal circumstances. And beyond bitcoin’s functionality, its origin and surrounding culture also help to explain why people trust bitcoin more than any other cryptocurrency to solve these problems. Nothing else comes close. This gap between bitcoin and everything else has implications for policy-making, journalism, and academic research.



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Andrew M. Bailey
Yale-NUS College
Craig Warmke
Northern Illinois University

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