Thursday, 16 May 2013

Status update, conference in San Jose and meeting professor Selgin

I thought I'd post an update. I haven't posted for a couple of weeks, but for a good reason. As some of you might know, last month I decided to concentrate on research of Bitcoin full time and I left my job. Now I'm a full blown "Bitcoin economist". What this means is that I read books all the time. Well, not entirely, I've also been spreading the word about Bitcoin among people, and trying to figure out how to earn money by doing research. I've also been working on my own book, which is an updated version of my master's thesis with some enhancements and fixes. I've been invited to present at two other conferences this autumn (I'm not sure they have been announced yet by the organisers, one is in the USA being organised by Jeff Tucker, and one will be in Slovakia, organised by the F. A. Hayek foundation). If you want economic research or consulting about Bitcoin, let me know, I'm sure we can work something out.

I'm now at the airport in Vienna, waiting for a flight and hope to eventually arrive in San Jose, just in time for the Future of Payments Bitcoin conference, where I'll be one of the panelists on the Economics panel on Saturday between 4pm and 5pm. Some of you might be at the conference too, so I'm looking forward to meeting you.

Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to meet one of the leading proponents of free market money, professor George Selgin. I corresponded with him before about economic aspects of Bitcoin and I quote him in my thesis, and after I found out he was going to have a lecture not very far from where I live, I registered and attended. I also briefly spoke to him, and it was very fruitful and helped me to understand some of his positions better. For example, on several occasions in the past as well as during the lecture, he claimed to have objections against Bitcoin. It wasn't entirely clear to me, I though that he had both macroeconomic objections (the evolution of the money supply does not follow the ideal of the freebanking branch of the Austrian school) as well as objections to its future as a medium of exchange. It turns out that it was only the former. He now clarified that he does not know how Bitcoin will evolve as a medium of exchange (he made a joke that if he did, he wouldn't be lecturing but rather talking to his broker). Just like me (and Rothbard in The Case for Genuine Gold Dollar) he thinks that people do not choose a medium of exchange based on price stability (or macroeconomic criteria in general), and that the analysis of macroeconomic features of media of exchange and their acceptance by the market are two separate questions. He also replied to some other things I asked him, but I'm not going to post it here yet, rather I want to integrate it into my book.

I have several draft posts related to Bitcoin, some are boring and abstract, some are new and interesting, I'll update and post them as time progresses. Don't worry, I haven't forgot about the readers of my blog.