August 23, 2019

Archives for June 2013

How Consensus Drives Bitcoin

Josh Kroll, Ian Davey and I have a new paper on the dynamics of Bitcoin, which we’re going to release in a few days. This post is the first in a series exploring our paper’s analysis of why Bitcoin works and what could derail it.

Consensus drives Bitcoin. Like any fiat currency (a currency not backed by anything of intrinsic value), Bitcoin has value because of an expectation that people will continue to accept the currency in payment. Like Tinkerbell, who exists because you believe in her, Bitcoin has value because enough people believe it has value. This much is true for all fiat currencies.

But Bitcoin is not just a currency, it is also a technology—and that technology must function correctly for the currency to operate and retain its value. In particular, there are two additional forms of consensus that must exist for Bitcoin to operate.
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Joel Reidenberg Named the Inaugural Microsoft Visiting Professor of Information Technology Policy

The Center for Information Technology Policy at Princeton is pleased to announce the appointment of the first-ever Microsoft Visiting Professor of Information Technology Policy. Professor Joel Reidenberg of Fordham Law School is a well-known scholar in internet law, privacy, and cybersecurity. While visiting, he will collaborate on research with the CITP community and teach an undergraduate course on internet law and policy. At Fordham he holds the Stanley D. and Nikki Waxberg Chair, and he is the Founding Academic Director of the Center on Law and Information Policy.