Download this Paper Open PDF in Browser

Regulating Bitcoin: On What Grounds?

19 Pages Posted: 17 Jul 2015 Last revised: 12 Jan 2017

William J. Luther

Kenyon College; American Institute for Economic Research

Date Written: May 13, 2016


Bitcoin is a relatively new technology with much promise. As the world’s first successful cryptocurrency, it seems likely to lower the costs of transacting. Nonetheless, many regulators hold a strong presumption that something must be done. I considered the popular justifications for regulating bitcoin with the idea of efficient regulation in mind. I also offer some simple guidelines for regulators to keep in mind while moving forward.

Keywords: Bitcoin, Budgetary Policy, Consumer Protection, Cryptocurrency, Drug Trade, Illegal Transactions, Illegal Transfers, Macroeconomic Policy, Monetary Policy, Regulation, Silk Road, Terrorism

JEL Classification: E41, E42, E50, G21, G23, G28

Suggested Citation

Luther, William J., Regulating Bitcoin: On What Grounds? (May 13, 2016). Available at SSRN: or

William Luther (Contact Author)

Kenyon College ( email )

Gambier, OH 43022
United States


American Institute for Economic Research

PO Box 1000
Great Barrington, MA 01230
United States

Paper statistics

Abstract Views