IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/kap/revaec/v30y2017i3d10.1007_s11138-016-0348-x.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Bitcoin and entrepreneurship: breaking the network effect

Author

Listed:
  • Malavika Nair

    (Troy University)

  • Nicolás Cachanosky

    (Metropolitan State University of Denver)

Abstract

This paper explores the question of whether the market process is capable of bringing about a spontaneous monetary switch to a new currency in the presence of strong network effects of the incumbent currency as well as the absence of contingencies such as extreme inflation or political instability. It does so by examining current happenings around Bitcoin. It finds that two mechanisms stand out: the coordinating efforts of the profit-maximizing entrepreneur as well as the ability to use the old and the new currency simultaneously. Specifically, it finds that marginal decisions made by rational agents merely seeking to maximize net private benefit irrespective of the network effect, be it entrepreneurs or users of the new currency, are capable of setting in motion a switch to a new currency. Whether or not these mechanisms play out fully in the case of Bitcoin still remains to be seen.

Suggested Citation

  • Malavika Nair & Nicolás Cachanosky, 2017. "Bitcoin and entrepreneurship: breaking the network effect," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer;Society for the Development of Austrian Economics, vol. 30(3), pages 263-275, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:revaec:v:30:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11138-016-0348-x
    DOI: 10.1007/s11138-016-0348-x
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://link.springer.com/10.1007/s11138-016-0348-x
    File Function: Abstract
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1007/s11138-016-0348-x?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Kevin Dowd & Martin Hutchinson, 2015. "Bitcoin Will Bite the Dust," Cato Journal, Cato Journal, Cato Institute, vol. 35(2), pages 357-382, Spring/Su.
    2. S. J. Liebowitz & Stephen E. Margolis, 1994. "Network Externality: An Uncommon Tragedy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(2), pages 133-150, Spring.
    3. Lawrence H. White, 2015. "The Market for Cryptocurrencies," Cato Journal, Cato Journal, Cato Institute, vol. 35(2), pages 383-402, Spring/Su.
    4. Lewin, Peter, 2001. "The Market Process and the Economics of QWERTY: Two Views," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer;Society for the Development of Austrian Economics, vol. 14(1), pages 65-96, March.
    5. Joshua R. Hendrickson & Thomas L. Hogan & William J. Luther, 2016. "The Political Economy Of Bitcoin," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 54(2), pages 925-939, April.
    6. Dwyer, Gerald P., 2015. "The economics of Bitcoin and similar private digital currencies," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 17(C), pages 81-91.
    7. Liebowitz, S J & Margolis, Stephen E, 1990. "The Fable of the Keys," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(1), pages 1-25, April.
    8. Katz, Michael L & Shapiro, Carl, 1985. "Network Externalities, Competition, and Compatibility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(3), pages 424-440, June.
    9. Liebowitz, S J & Margolis, Stephen E, 1995. "Path Dependence, Lock-in, and History," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(1), pages 205-226, April.
    10. William J. Luther, 2016. "Cryptocurrencies, Network Effects, And Switching Costs," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 34(3), pages 553-571, July.
    11. David, Paul A, 1985. "Clio and the Economics of QWERTY," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(2), pages 332-337, May.
    12. Stephanie Lo & J. Christina Wang, 2014. "Bitcoin as money?," Current Policy Perspectives 14-4, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
    13. Dowd, Kevin & Greenaway, David, 1993. "Currency Competition, Network Externalities and Switching Costs: Towards an Alternative View of Optimum Currency Areas," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 103(420), pages 1180-1189, September.
    14. Michael L. Katz & Carl Shapiro, 1994. "Systems Competition and Network Effects," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(2), pages 93-115, Spring.
    15. Cheah, Eng-Tuck & Fry, John, 2015. "Speculative bubbles in Bitcoin markets? An empirical investigation into the fundamental value of Bitcoin," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 130(C), pages 32-36.
    16. Mikael Stenkula, 2003. "Carl Menger and the network theory of money," The European Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(4), pages 587-606.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Bruno Ferreira Frascaroli, 2020. "Bitcoin's innovative aspects, return volatility and uncertainty shocks," International Journal of Financial Markets and Derivatives, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 7(3), pages 224-245.
    2. Hazlett, Peter K. & Luther, William J., 2020. "Is bitcoin money? And what that means," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 144-149.
    3. Al Mamun, Md & Uddin, Gazi Salah & Suleman, Muhammad Tahir & Kang, Sang Hoon, 2020. "Geopolitical risk, uncertainty and Bitcoin investment," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 540(C).

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Puffert, Douglas J., 2002. "Path Dependence in Spatial Networks: The Standardization of Railway Track Gauge," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 282-314, July.
    2. Vanberg, Margit A., 2005. "Network Externalities and Interconnection Incentives," ZEW Discussion Papers 05-80, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    3. Luther, William J. & Salter, Alexander W., 2017. "Bitcoin and the bailout," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 50-56.
    4. Laura Baraldi, 2004. "Esternalita' Di Rete: Una Rassegna," Working Papers 12_2004, D.E.S. (Department of Economic Studies), University of Naples "Parthenope", Italy.
    5. Gina Christelle Pieters, 2017. "Bitcoin Reveals Exchange Rate Manipulation and Detects Capital Controls," 2017 Papers ppi307, Job Market Papers.
    6. Choi, Young Back, 2008. "Path dependence and the Korean alphabet," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 185-201, February.
    7. Marechal, Kevin, 2007. "The economics of climate change and the change of climate in economics," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(10), pages 5181-5194, October.
    8. Oz Shy, 2011. "A Short Survey of Network Economics," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 38(2), pages 119-149, March.
    9. Zura Kakushadze & Jim Kyung-Soo Liew, 2018. "CryptoRuble: From Russia with Love," Papers 1801.05760, arXiv.org.
    10. Schoder, Detlef, 2000. "Forecasting the success of telecommunication services in the presence of network effects," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 181-200, June.
    11. Brousseau, Eric & Raynaud, Emmanuel, 2011. "“Climbing the hierarchical ladders of rules”: A life-cycle theory of institutional evolution," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 79(1), pages 65-79.
    12. Wiebke Roß & Jens Weghake, 2018. "Wa(h)re Liebe: Was Online-Dating-Plattformen über zweiseitige Märkte lehren," TUC Working Papers in Economics 0017, Abteilung für Volkswirtschaftslehre, Technische Universität Clausthal (Department of Economics, Technical University Clausthal).
    13. Pieters, Gina & Vivanco, Sofia, 2017. "Financial regulations and price inconsistencies across Bitcoin markets," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 1-14.
    14. Hunt, Shelby D., 1997. "Resource-advantage theory and the wealth of nations: Developing the socio-economic research tradition," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 335-357.
    15. Vialle, Pierre & Song, Junjie & Zhang, Jian, 2012. "Competing with dominant global standards in a catching-up context. The case of mobile standards in China," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(10), pages 832-846.
    16. Joel West & Jason Dedrick, 2000. "Innovation and Control in Standards Architectures: The Rise and Fall of Japan's PC-98," Information Systems Research, INFORMS, vol. 11(2), pages 197-216, June.
    17. Ruttan, Vernon W., 1996. "Sources Of Technical Change: Induced Innovation, Evolutionary Theory And Path Dependence," Bulletins 12974, University of Minnesota, Economic Development Center.
    18. Rodolphe Durand & Robert M. Grant & Tammy L. Madsen & David P. McIntyre & Arati Srinivasan, 2017. "Networks, platforms, and strategy: Emerging views and next steps," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(1), pages 141-160, January.
    19. Jean‐Philippe Vergne & Rodolphe Durand, 2010. "The Missing Link Between the Theory and Empirics of Path Dependence: Conceptual Clarification, Testability Issue, and Methodological Implications," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(4), pages 736-759, June.
    20. Flori, Andrea, 2019. "News and subjective beliefs: A Bayesian approach to Bitcoin investments," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 336-356.

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kap:revaec:v:30:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11138-016-0348-x. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: http://www.springer.com .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Sonal Shukla or Springer Nature Abstracting and Indexing (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.springer.com .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.