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The Political Economy of Bitcoin

30 Pages Posted: 29 Nov 2014 Last revised: 2 Sep 2015

Joshua R. Hendrickson

University of Mississippi

Thomas L. Hogan

Troy University

William J. Luther

Kenyon College

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: July 28, 2015


The recent proliferation of bitcoin has been a boon for users but might pose problems for governments. Indeed, some governments have already taken steps to ban or discourage the use of bitcoin. In a model with endogenous matching and random consumption preferences, we find multiple monetary equilibria including one in which bitcoin coexists with regular currency. We then identify the conditions under which government transactions policy might deter the use of bitcoin. We show that such a policy becomes more difficult if some users strictly prefer bitcoin because they can avoid other users holding currency in the matching process.

Keywords: Money matching, Random matching, Endogenous matching, Cryptocurrency, Bitcoin

JEL Classification: C78, E41, E42, E50

Suggested Citation

Hendrickson, Joshua R. and Hogan, Thomas L. and Luther, William J., The Political Economy of Bitcoin (July 28, 2015). Available at SSRN: or

Joshua R. Hendrickson (Contact Author)

University of Mississippi ( email )

Oxford, MS 38677
United States

Thomas L. Hogan

Troy University ( email )

Troy, AL
United States

William J. Luther

Kenyon College ( email )

Gambier, OH 43022
United States


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