In 1999, in an interview with Milton Friedman, American Nobel Prize winner in Economic Sciences, he has somewhat predicted the birth and surge of digital currencies. In the interview, he mentioned, “the one thing that’s missing but will soon be developed, a reliable e-cash…” His words resonated when the first digital currency was introduced, the Bitcoin.
“The one thing that’s missing, but that will soon be developed, it’s a reliable e-cash. A method where buying on the Internet you can transfer funds from A to B, without A knowing B or B knowing A. The way in which I can take a 20 dollar bill and hand it over to you and there’s no record of where it came from. And you may get that without knowing who I am. That kind of thing will develop on the Internet.”
Bitcoin is the world’s first decentralized digital currency that was first launched in 2009 as an open source application. It functions without the need of a central administrator or repository. According to a research report released by Cambridge University in the year 2017, there are approximately 2.9 to 5.8 million cryptocurrency wallet users worldwide, most of which report using bitcoin.
Bitcoin as Investment and Medium of Exchange
Like the US dollar, Bitcoin is essentially worthless, both being fiat currencies. The coexistence of two legal currencies and their exploration is absolutely nothing different. If the two are employed being a medium of exchange throughout the market, their exchange rates are uncertain, as shown by Kareken and Wallace (1981).
On a side note, Bitcoin or Cryptocurrencies generally cause new problems. In particular, there is no central bank in Bitcoin and the supply of Bitcoin increases but introduces new and potentially significant elements. The random fluctuations in bitcoin rates have elevated and are missing in the Kareken-Wallace research.
Traders may treat bitcoin (and various other cryptocurrencies) as investments much like investments in world oil trade and assume that prices are rising instead of treating it as a medium of exchange. Given these novel aspects, what does bitcoin prices mean, and what does the monetary policy of the existing currency imply?
The Role Of Bitcoin In Economic Setting
The double role of Bitcoin (or any other cryptocurrency) being a medium of exchange and being an object of speculation (investment), we visualize another world in which both dollars and Bitcoin function as entirely recognized, frictionless way of payment to acquire perishable consumption goods.
Significantly, we presume that dollars and Bitcoin are needless to say worthless. Contrary to other assets, keeping both of these currencies produces no dividends or utility. The sole use of these fiat currencies is to acquire goods. We imagine there is a central bank attaining an estranged given random inflation aim for the dollar while there is not any central organization governing the worth of Bitcoin.
Ramifications of Bitcoin for Dollar Economic Policy
The levels of competition between the dollar and Bitcoin gives a spike to a Bitcoin dependent on inflation rates formulation. As a result, Bitcoin rates connect to dollar economic policy. This has effects on both traditional and a non-traditional dollar central bank. The market clearing state then signifies that the central bank for dollars could control the Bitcoin value. Even more possibilities may occur.