The Case for a 21 Million Bitcoin Conspiracy

13 Pages Posted: 8 Mar 2018

Date Written: March 7, 2018


Bitcoin and many other cryptocurrencies have currency-caps implemented in their protocols. Bitcoin is capped at approximately 21 million bitcoins. These protocols are complied with by consenting operators. This paper discusses whether such currency-caps are illegal quantity-fixing conspiracies in violation of antitrust law. It is found that there is a present antitrust risk for cryptocurrency operators. This may render such operators subject to criminal and civil liabilities.

Keywords: antitrust law, competition law, cryptocurrencies, fintech, monetary theory

JEL Classification: K21, K22, E42, E51

Suggested Citation

Østbye, Peder, The Case for a 21 Million Bitcoin Conspiracy (March 7, 2018). Available at SSRN: or

Peder Østbye (Contact Author)

Norges Bank ( email )

P.O. Box 1179
Oslo, N-0107

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