The article aims to bring to light the limits and contradictions of cryptocurrencies, as well as to investigate possible alternative uses of them. Particularly focusing on Bitcoin, under- stood as a benchmark for the entire sector, the authors seek to answer the following questions: Should Bitcoin be considered a currency, an investment vehicle, or a speculative asset? On which factors does Bitcoin volatility depend? Do Central Banks effectively have no power to influence/stabilize Bitcoin volatility? Following the empirical strategy proposed by Baek and Elbeck, the article shows that Bitcoin returns merely depend on financial conventions and that the cryptocurrency is acting as a highly speculative asset. Sociotechnical innovations introduced by Bitcoin, the authors argue, have concretely opened the possibility of deeply rethinking money. However, several factors are currently negatively affecting the possibility of the cryptocurrency to function as an effective means of payment. Whether this experience can pave the way for the birth of new and more democratic monetary instruments, as the article discusses, is an issue that calls into question a whole combination of political, technical and social elements.

(2019). Cryptocurrencies, Monetary Policy, and New Forms of Monetary Sovereignty [journal article - articolo]. In INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF POLITICAL ECONOMY. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10446/143000

Cryptocurrencies, Monetary Policy, and New Forms of Monetary Sovereignty

Fama, Marco;Fumagalli, Andrea;Lucarelli, Stefano
2019-01-01

Abstract

The article aims to bring to light the limits and contradictions of cryptocurrencies, as well as to investigate possible alternative uses of them. Particularly focusing on Bitcoin, under- stood as a benchmark for the entire sector, the authors seek to answer the following questions: Should Bitcoin be considered a currency, an investment vehicle, or a speculative asset? On which factors does Bitcoin volatility depend? Do Central Banks effectively have no power to influence/stabilize Bitcoin volatility? Following the empirical strategy proposed by Baek and Elbeck, the article shows that Bitcoin returns merely depend on financial conventions and that the cryptocurrency is acting as a highly speculative asset. Sociotechnical innovations introduced by Bitcoin, the authors argue, have concretely opened the possibility of deeply rethinking money. However, several factors are currently negatively affecting the possibility of the cryptocurrency to function as an effective means of payment. Whether this experience can pave the way for the birth of new and more democratic monetary instruments, as the article discusses, is an issue that calls into question a whole combination of political, technical and social elements.
articolo
2019
Fama, Marco; Fumagalli, Andrea Maria; Lucarelli, Stefano
(2019). Cryptocurrencies, Monetary Policy, and New Forms of Monetary Sovereignty [journal article - articolo]. In INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF POLITICAL ECONOMY. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10446/143000
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