Should Bitcoin Be Classified as Money?

Journal of Social Ontology 6 (2):281-292 (2020)
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The advent of virtual currencies such as bitcoin raises a pressing question for lawmakers, regulators, and judges: should bitcoin and other virtual currencies be classified as money or currency for legal and regulatory purposes? I examine two different approaches to answering this question—a descriptive approach and a normative approach. The descriptive approach says that bitcoin and other virtual currencies should be classified as money or currency just in case they really are money or currency, whereas the normative approach says that this question of classification should be answered on the basis of substantive normative considerations. I argue against the descriptive approach and in favor of the normative approach.

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Asya Passinsky
Central European University

Citations of this work

Metaphysics.Peter Van Inwagen, Meghan Sullivan & Sara Bernstein - 2023 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Social Ontology.Brian Epstein - 2018 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
A Plea for Descriptive Social Ontology.Kathrin Koslicki & Olivier Massin - 2023 - Synthese 202 (Special Issue: The Metametaphysi):1-35.
Resisting Social Categories.Sara Bernstein - 2024 - Oxford Studies in Agency and Responsibility 8:81-102.
On Bitcoin: A Study in Applied Metaphysics.Martin A. Lipman - 2023 - Philosophical Quarterly 73 (3):783-802.

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