January 22, 2018
Blockchain is a software architecture that seems very likely to unleash profound global forces if it crosses over into the mainstream.
January 3, 2018
To judge by its price, Bitcoin had a banner year in 2017. The leading cryptocurrency rose 1,200 percent against the dollar, making millionaires of many geek investors and billionaires of a few. But at one point, Bitcoin was up 1,800 percent. It dropped from the highest heights by year’s end, making some of the less disciplined Bitcoin investors feel sad...
December 18, 2017
It’s that special time of year when people think of family, friends, faith—and tax avoidance. Donations made to qualified charitable organizations during calendar year 2017 entitle you to a deduction against your income tax if you itemize in your 2017 tax filing. You can donate to CEI by going to the “Donate” link on CEI’s homepage.
The IRS has...
December 6, 2017
Asked about Bitcoin last week, economics Nobel laureate and Columbia University professor Joseph Stiglitz said, among other gems, “It ought to be outlawed. It doesn’t serve any socially useful function.”
His views have been widely panned by supporters of cryptocurrency, of course, and this post will be another example.
Stiglitz’s statement illustrates a subtle but very important slippage in the function of economics and economists, from students of human action to dictators of human behavior. The slip happens with concepts like “utility” or, as Stiglitz says, “socially useful function.”
Things are useful if they promote certain ends, and they are not useful if they don’t. The question is always what the ends are. Sometimes,...
December 1, 2017
The alternate currency known as Bitcoin has had a wild week, and its dramatic rise in value has meant that many Americans are hearing and learning about it for the first time.
The increase has been so dramatic, however, it has also caused many observers to express skepticism about the sustainability of these gains, generating comparisons, for example, to the legendary price bubble for Dutch tulip bulbs in the 17th Century. As the Los Angeles Times colunist and...
November 30, 2017
Yesterday, a U.S. District Court in San Francisco ordered Bitcoin service provider Coinbase to comply with a dramatically scaled-back Internal Revenue Service summons for user information. CEI participated in the case by filing an amicus brief urging the court to recognize the property-based...
November 27, 2017
The Monday after Thanksgiving weekend, employees of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau awoke to dueling acting directors: Leandra English and Mick Mulvaney.
English was designated deputy director by Obama-appointed outgoing director Richard Cordray on...
August 10, 2017
The Australian parliament may soon consider adding Bitcoin to the currency reserve holdings of the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA). Labor senator Sam Dastyari and Liberal senator Jane Hume, acknowledging the increasing importance of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology, have...
July 18, 2017
Having photobombed a Janet Yellen congressional appearance with a “Buy Bitcoin” sign, newly famous “Bitcoin Sign Guy” is taking a stint with us here at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. He’ll be studying, writing on, and advocating for cryptographic monetary alternatives.
June 13, 2017
If there was ever illustration of the need for a competitive monetary system rather than a centralized and monopolized one, Kenneth Rogoff’s book, The Curse of Cash, is it. Rogoff does not argue for the near-elimination of cash because doing so would improve consumer...