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Bitcoin as an example of a virtual currency


  • Anna Wisniewska

    (Nicolaus Copernicus University, Poland)


Virtual currencies have recently become one of the most popular topics in the media. This paper focuses on economic aspects of Bitcoin, being an attempt to answer the question if Bitcoin can be considered money in the light of economic theories of money. On the basis of the reports published by the European Central Bank and the Financial Action Task Force, as well as the available Internet and primary sources, there have been presented the types, history and functioning of virtual currencies. The knowledge of virtual currencies makes it possible to foresee the problems arising from their existence, such as possible threats to international security, difficulties with taxation etc. The growing popularity of virtual currencies and cryptocurrencies is linked with the increase of importance of non-cash payments on global scale. Thus, Bitcoin may be considered next step in the evolution of digital money.

Suggested Citation

  • Anna Wisniewska, 2016. "Bitcoin as an example of a virtual currency," Working Papers 1/2016, Institute of Economic Research, revised Feb 2016.
  • Handle: RePEc:pes:wpaper:2016:no1

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    File Function: First version, 2016
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    More about this item


    bitcoin; virtual currencies; cryptocurrencies; legal status of virtual currencies;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E40 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - General
    • G29 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Other
    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • K34 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - Tax Law

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