Bitcoin does not fit so neatly into pre-existing boxes from the past, including concepts such as "money," "commodity," and "property." My work on Bitcoin has centered on re-examining fundamental concepts from economic and legal theory in light of Bitcoin while raising public understanding of how it works.


To understand the basic technologies behind Bitcoin and how they were combined to form a key innovation, read one of my most popular and recommended articles: Bitcoin: Magic, fraud, or ‘sufficiently advanced technology’? (19 Sep 2014)

Visiting a bitcoin mine, where electricity is turned into bitcoin, heat, and fan noise.

Visiting a bitcoin mine, where electricity is turned into bitcoin, heat, and fan noise.

My most comprehensive treatment of bitcoin and the theory of money so far is “On the origins of Bitcoin: Stages of monetary evolution” (3 Nov 2013) [PDF] [ePub]. It combines fresh interpretations of the origins of money with a bitcoin-specific economic history. This was among three papers nominated for a 2014 Blockchain Award (Satoshi won).

Covering different territory is my article in The Journal of Prices and Markets, “Commodity, scarcity, and monetary value theory in light of bitcoin” (accepted 20 Oct 2014; published 24 Feb 2015; HTML, PDF). This goes into core economic-theory concepts with applications to bitcoin.

Are Bitcoins Ownable? Property Rights, IP Wrongs, and Legal Theory Implications (6 Nov 2015) [Amazon] [Other versions] is a monograph examining the relationship between property rights theory and bitcoin with reference to leading philosophical justifications for property rights and leading criticisms of IP rights. Does bitcoin shed any light on these issues and where does it fit within these existing models, if at all?

Below are links to a selection of my other bitcoin-related writings.

Other selected articles

Bitcoin as a rival digital commodity good: A supplementary comment (11 Mar 2015)

Sidechained bitcoin substitutes: A monetary commentary (25 Oct 2014)

Gold standards, optionality, and parallel metallic- and crypto-coin circulations (21 May 2014)

The helpful fable of the “bitcoin”: Duality models revisited (20 May 2014)

MtGox fiasco highlights advantages of Bitcoin and damage from regulation (27 Feb 2014)

Hyper-monetization reloaded: Another round of bubble talk (7 Nov 2013)

Bitcoin and social theory reflections: A review essay between Amsterdam and Atlanta (3 Oct 2013)

Bitcoin as medium of exchange now and unit of account later: The inverse of Koning’s medieval coins (14 Sep 2013)

A short Bitcoin commentary on “Deflation and Liberty” (29 Mar 2013)

IN-DEPTH | Bitcoins, the regression theorem, and that curious but unthreatening empirical world (27 Feb 2013)