Graduation Year

Spring 2014

Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Douglas McEachern

Reader 2

Nicholas Warner

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Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2014 Austin Hill


Bitcoin, a virtual currency invented in 2009, was created as a peer-to-peer currency that eliminated the need for a third party authority, such as banks or government, to be involved in monetary transactions. Having no intrinsic value but carrying no government guarantees relegates bitcoin and its competitors to the perpetual role of investment opportunity, deriving value not from a practical use, but from a nominal, dollar value. This will continue to be the case until the U.S. Government sanctions virtual currency as a viable store of value. Because the dollar plays such a large role in the world’s economy, other countries will not adopt virtual currency technology unless the U.S. does so first. Substantial populations around the world must embrace bitcoin as a significant source of value before any monetary authority will relinquish the power associated with fiat currency. There are, however, many aspects of the virtual-currency model created by bitcoin that could be useful in improving the efficiency of money movement around the United States and the globe, through transaction memory, low transaction cost, and secure account information.