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4 Hastings Sci. & Tech. L.J. 159 (2012)
Bitcoin: An Innovative Alternative Digital Currency

handle is hein.journals/hascietlj4 and id is 163 raw text is: Bitcoin: An Innovative
Alternative Digital Currency
by REUBEN GRINBERG*
1.  Introdu   ctio n  ..................................................................................................... 160
I .  B itcoin  P rim er ................................................................................................ 162
III. B  itcoin  E  cosystem      ........................................................................................ 165
IV. Comparing Bitcoin to its Competition ....................................................... 168
A. Facilitation of e-commerce .................................................................. 168
1. Traditional e-commerce ................................................................... 168
2.  M  icropaym      ents .................................................................................. 170
3. Virtual World and Game-Related Commerce .............................. 170
B.    Gold-Backed Currencies ..................................................................... 172
V. Is Bitcoin Sustainable? .................................................................................. 174
A  .  Iraqi   Sw  iss  D inar  .................................................................................. 174
B .   C onfi  dence    ............................................................................................ 175
1. Improper Use of Discretionary Authority ..................................... 175
2. Superior Competing Currency ........................................................ 176
3. Government Crackdown .................................................................. 177
4.  D  eflationary     Spiral ........................................................................... 177
C.    Potential Technology Failures ............................................................ 179
1. Anonymity Failure ............................................................................ 179
2 .  T h eft   ................................................................................................... 180
3.  D  enial of    Service   ............................................................................... 180
V  I. L egal  Issues ................................................................................................... 181
* Yale Law School, J.D. 2011; University of Texas at Austin, M.S. 2007; Yale
University, B.S. 2005. The author is a first-year law clerk at a law firm in New York City.
The author would like to thank professor Jonathan R. Macey, professor Ronald Mann,
Melanie Keene, Gavin Andresen, and members of the Bitcoin community for their helpful
comments on an earlier draft of this Article. The author also thanks Assistant U.S.
Attorney Jill Westmoreland Rose and Bernard von NotHaus, opposing parties in the
Liberty Dollar cases who took the time to answer my questions. Finally, the author also
thanks Zion Maffeo, David Simson, and other helpful editors of the Hastings Science &
Technology Law Journal.

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