Bitcoin: A Primer for Policymakers

 
9781942951162: Bitcoin: A Primer for Policymakers

As the world’s first decentralized digital currency, Bitcoin has the potential to revolutionize online payment systems and commerce in ways that benefit both consumers and businesses. Individuals can now avoid using an intermediary such as PayPal or submitting credit card information to a third party for verification—both of which often involve transaction fees, restrictions, and security risks—and instead use bitcoins to pay each other directly for goods or services.

In this new edition of their popular primer, Jerry Brito and Andrea Castillo provide fresh analysis of the latest policies and regulations that could either help or hinder the growth of the innovative cryptocurrency and blockchain industries. They describe how the Bitcoin protocol works and address many common misconceptions about it. This expanded edition contains new descriptions of the cutting-edge blockchain applications that are poised to disrupt law, trade, and even content distribution in the same way that Bitcoin disrupted finance through distributed ledger technology. The authors analyze current laws and regulations that may already cover digital currencies and blockchain applications and warn against preemptive regulatory restrictions that could stifle these new technologies before they have a chance to evolve. In addition, Brito and Castillo make several recommendations about how policymakers should treat Bitcoin and blockchain applications going forward.

Here, at the forefront of the debate, Brito and Castillo make a powerful case for permissionless innovation and provide much-needed clarity for policymakers and law enforcement officials uncertain how to approach cryptocurrency technology.

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About the Author:

Jerry Brito is the executive director of Coin Center, a nonprofit research and advocacy center focused on the public policy issues facing cryptocurrency technologies such as Bitcoin. He also serves as an adjunct professor of law at George Mason University. Brito received his JD from George Mason University School of Law and his BA in political science from Florida International University.

Andrea Castillo is the program manager of the Technology Policy Program for the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. Her research focuses on technology policy, cybersecurity, cryptocurrencies, and online speech. Castillo is pursuing her PhD in economics at George Mason University and received her BS in economics and political science from Florida State University.

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