Monday, November 14, 2011

Alan Szepieniec Presents Bitcoin at Polish Mises Institute

In a step ahead of their U.S. namesake, the Polish Ludwig von Mises Institute hosted Alan Szepieniec to present bitcoin during the 2011 Summer Seminar in Warsaw.

Some of the more recent Mises Institute discussion surrounding the decentralized cryptocurrency bitcoin and its Austrian detractors can be found here and here.

Another notable video presentation was given at DEFCON 19: "Hacking the Global Economy with GPUs or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Bitcoin".

Also, watch Jeffrey Paul presenting Financing The Revolution @ Chaos Communication Camp.


  1. My reply to Peter Surda on the Mises Economics Blog post "Ideological and Irrational Exuberance" at

    Peter, I have been researching bitcoin for over a year now so I am certain that we both independently arrived at our respective conclusions. The transaction cost argument has been put out there before but transaction costs can be minimal compared to the up or down volatility in exchange value and I do not believe that transaction costs are the driver for an individual’s decision to transact in bitcoin. They are at best a minimal consideration. Furthermore, as you mentioned, bitcoin will have minimal transaction costs for purposes of priority on the ‘networked ledger’. Correctly, bitcoin will also start to see transaction costs associated with merchant acceptance in other settlement currencies and costs associated with immediate confirmation at the point-of-sale and specialty escrow services.

    MRT (Mises Regression Theorem) certainly does need modification for cryptocurrencies like bitcoin because MRT is only a valid theory for a non-digital world in addressing money instruments like paper notes and gold/silver coins. However, once the notion of ‘digital bearer’ value is introduced, the theorem is woefully incomplete. It is ‘digital bearer’ value specifically that is the driver here because double-entry accounting existed in the digital environment with VISA, Mastercard, e-gold, etc. Digital bearer value and decentralized digital networks are what is new.

    The demand for bitcoin is derived from the demand to emulate the features and characteristics of a physical $100 bill or a physical gold Krugerrand coin in the digital realm. Nanotechnology does not yet exist that would allow us to transport gold molecularly across a public digital network, so bitcoin is a response to that need. So then, what are those characteristics that bitcoin has permitted to be emulated? I maintain that user-defined anonymity and user-defined transaction untraceability are the two primary drivers in the demand for a digital currency or ‘digital bearer’ token. And, as we all know, those two important characteristics are only achievable within a p2p decentralized network immune from State termination and confiscation.

  2. Is it possible nearly all bitcoins (21 million) or very large amount of them could be bought by single country or organisation? Some countries could do that, 21 millions bitcoins per 100 dollars each, rich criminals could buy lot of them.


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