The dramatic rise and fall of Bitcoin prices has been one of biggest recurring story lines of 2017. All year long we’ve heard experts from around the world weigh in on whether the more than $300 billion-dollar crypto market we’re seeing is a glimpse into the future or just a mirage.
We’ll find out what a leading monetary economist thinks when Bitcoin Wednesday welcomes speaker Lawrence H. White on 3 January for our first conference of 2018. Mr. White is professor of economics at George Mason University and an expert on free banking and alternative private money. His talk will cover:
The possible future for various cryptocurrencies and their potential role in the world economy as they compete with traditional stores of value or with fiat as a medium of exchange;
The business case for Bitcoin at the top of the pack and where the many interesting challengers like Ethereum, IOTA and Bitcoin Cash belong in the discussion; and
How two key issues — the high volatility and potential scalability of Bitcoin — will effect its future and that of other cryptocurrencies. Will major, unpredictable fluctuations in Bitcoin’s value and high transaction costs hinder its widespread acceptance as a retail payment system and a medium of exchange?
Professor White specializes in the theory and history of banking and money. He is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute in the Center for Monetary and Financial Alternatives. His articles on monetary theory and banking history have appeared in journals such as the American Economic Review, the Journal of Monetary Economics, the Journal of Economic Literature, and the Journal of Money, Credit, and Banking. He is a co-editor of Econ Journal Watch and a member of the board of associate editors of the Review of Austrian Economics. He has been a visiting research fellow at the American Institute for Economic Research, a visiting lecturer at the Swiss National Bank, and a visiting scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
His books include Free Banking in Britain (1984; 2nd ed., 1995), Competition and Currency (1989), The Theory of Monetary Institutions (1999), and The Clash of Economic Ideas (2012). He is editor of Free Banking (3 vols., 1993) and The History of Gold and Silver (3 vols., 2000) and the co-editor of Renewing the
Search for a Monetary Constitution (2015). He also blogs about cryptocurrency and other topics at Alt-M.org.