Regulatory Ambiguity in the Market for Bitcoin

26 Pages Posted: 6 Apr 2019

See all articles by William J. Luther

William J. Luther

Florida Atlantic University; American Institute for Economic Research

Date Written: March 14, 2019


Economists are fond of employing simple models for policy analysis. However, these models tend to neglect the prospect of regulatory ambiguity. I consider the effects of regulatory ambiguity on entrepreneurial activity. I explain how jurisdictional redundancy exacerbates regulatory ambiguity, increasing the costs of compliance, the probability of regulation, and the potential for political opportunism. To illustrate, I provide a brief description of the regulatory environment of bitcoin in the United States.

Keywords: ambiguity, bitcoin, cryptocurrency, currency, regulation, political economy

JEL Classification: E40, E42, E58, G2, H1, K2, K4

Suggested Citation

Luther, William J., Regulatory Ambiguity in the Market for Bitcoin (March 14, 2019). Available at SSRN: or

William J. Luther (Contact Author)

Florida Atlantic University ( email )

777 Glades Road
Boca Raton, FL 33431
United States


American Institute for Economic Research ( email )

PO Box 1000
Great Barrington, MA 01230
United States


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