35 Cato J. 347 (2015)
The Bitcoin Revolution

handle is hein.journals/catoj35 and id is 372 raw text is: 












             THE BITCOIN REVOLUTION
                  Bennett T. McCallum

   The likelihood of the Bitcoin system    replacing the Federal
Reserve as the main provider of money in the United States and the
desirability of such a transformation are the topics of this article.'
With respect to the first of these topics, one needs to consider how
far the so-called Bitcoin Revolution has progressed by estimating the
average volume of transactions conducted per time period by means
of Bitcoin payments, and then compare recent values of that magni-
tude with the total volume per period of dollar payments in the
United States.2
   Francois Velde of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago has
estimated that, as of late 2013, the average volume of bitcoin trans-
actions per minute totaled less than four-tenths of 1 percent of
average dollar transactions per minute-actually, not total dollar
transactions but only the subset conducted by means of Visa credit
card payments (Velde 2013). In the months since the publication
of Velde's article the volume of bitcoin payments has been grow-
ing rapidly, but their quantitative extent is still negligible from a
macroeconomic perspective. In fact, this 0.004 magnitude is quite



   Cato Jounal, Vol. 35, No. 2 (Spring/Summer 2015). Copyright  Cato Institute.
All rights reserved.
   Bennett T. McCallum is H.J. Heinz Professor of Economics at Carnegie Mellon
University. He thanks Pierre Liang, Marvin Goodfriend, and Christopher Camp for
helpful comments and suggestions.

1I have not attempted to explain the workings of the Bitcoin system in this article
because it would require space and because I could not do this better than Velde
(2013).
21n what follows, I will use Bitcoin as the name of the system, bitcoin as an
adjective or a singular noun, and bitcoins to refer to specified quantities.

What Is HeinOnline?

HeinOnline is a subscription-based resource containing nearly 2,700 academic and legal journals from inception; complete coverage of government documents such as U.S. Statutes at Large, U.S. Code, Federal Register, Code of Federal Regulations, U.S. Reports, and much more. Documents are image-based, fully searchable PDFs with the authority of print combined with the accessibility of a user-friendly and powerful database. For more information, request a quote or trial for your organization below.



Short-term subscription options include 24 hours, 48 hours, or 1 week to HeinOnline with pricing starting as low as $29.95

Access to this content requires a subscription. Please visit the following page to request a quote or trial:

Already a HeinOnline Subscriber?