Publication Date

April 2015

Advisor(s)

Joyce Jacobsen

Major

Economics (ECON), College of Social Studies

Language

English (United States)

Abstract

Since Bitcoin’s inception in 2008, the Bitcoin community has grown tremendously. This momentum pairs with the spike in Bitcoin’s monetary value. Over the course of five years, the price of Bitcoin has tripped from six cents to $255 per Bitcoin in April 2015 (Coinmarketcap 2015). Its popularity and dramatic price movement have led more people to scrutinize cryptocurrencies and to understand whether this is the new technology that will have a significant impact on our lives like computers and the Internet. The goal of this thesis is to understand the future of cryptocurrencies through Bitcoin and five different lenses: historical context, supply side, demand side, market dynamics, and applications in other fields. Each chapter analyzes Bitcoin through one perspective, together to answer the central question: are cryptocurrencies a new secular phenomenon that will change the world?

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