Bitcoin and Blockchain: What We Know and What Questions are Still Open
Bank of Canada Staff working paper
59 Pages Posted: 19 Nov 2018 Last revised: 13 Apr 2019
Date Written: April 3, 2019
Since its inception in 2009 much has been said about Bitcoin. While initially the discussions took place mostly on blogs and other popular media, we now are witnessing the emergence of a growing body of rigorous academic research on topics related to Bitcoin and blockchain technologies. Interest in these topics spans many academic disciplines. This paper presents a survey of this literature focusing on economics contributions.One of the objectives of this survey is to make it easier for more economists to enter this research space.
There is not yet an established "canon" on this topic; many papers that are important and already have proven to be seminal, are not yet published. Nonetheless, this literature is becoming more structured with several papers in various subfields having made key contributions.
The areas of most activity and main contributions are the game theoretic analysis of Bitcoin's design, the analysis of user's incentives to adopt Bitcoin, the search for drivers of Bitcoin's price, the analysis of the interaction of Bitcoin with other currencies and the exploration of non-monetary applications of the blockchain technologies.
Keywords: Bitcoin, blockchain, cryptocurrencies
JEL Classification: A1, D4, L0, O3, Y2
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