Cryptocurrencies as electronic means of payment without the issuer. Computer science, economic, and legal aspects

Sebastian Bala, Tomasz Kopyściański, Witold Srokosz
ISBN: 978-83-229-3571-2
Liczba stron: 166
Rok wydania: 2016
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This monograph was created as a part of the project titled “Electronic means of payment without the issuer” financed by the Polish National Science Centre (NSC). The premise of awarding of funds by NCN was to promote interdisciplinarity, hence the research covered three domains: computer science, economics and law. This division was reflected in the monograph, where each chapter is dedicated to a separate aspect of the functioning of cryptocurrencies, which, so far, are the only example of existing electronic means of payment without the issuer. Thus, the methodology, according to which the monograph has been written is not uniform and varies depending on the research area. This heterogeneous methodology, having a significant impact on the differences in the grid of concepts used in each research area, poses the biggest difficulties in the interdisciplinary studies. On one hand, it renders the harmonious cooperation in various disciplines impossible, as the same phenomenon (cryptocurrency in this case) appears to be quite different depending on the point of view resulting from the applied research method. On the other hand, it is impossible to imagine a proper, comprehensive analysis of such a phenomenon as cryptocurrency without the study of computer science, economics, and law. It is striking that so far there is no similar comprehensive monographic paper on cryptocurrencies in the world’s literature.
This is the first such a publication in the world.

  • Introduction

Chapter 1. IT aspects of cryptocurrencies

  • Cryptographic basics
    • Basic concepts
    • Hash functions
    • Encryption and digital signatures
    • Blind digital signatures
    • Proof-of-work
  • Digital money
  • Bitcoin
    • Transactions
    • Blockchain
    • Discovering addresses in a peer-to-peer network
    • Mining a cryptocurrency
    • Incomplete nodes
    • Bitcoin from the point of view of the user
    • Definitions for legal and economic purposes

Chapter 2. Economic aspects of cryptocurrencies

  • Cryptocurrencies in economic terms — the substance and essential characteristics
  • Forms of modern money and cryptocurrencies
  • Cryptocurrencies and a theory of money
    • Theories of money in the mainstream economy — factors aff ecting the demand for money
    • The concept of cryptocurrencies in the light of the Austrian school of economics
  • Types and structure of the cryptocurrency market
    • General information
    • Bitcoin
    • Litecoin
    • Dogecoin
    • Dashcoin
    • Peercoin
    • Features of the cryptocurrency market
  • The analysis of market volatility of cryptocurrencies in relation to traditional currencies and selected financial instruments
  • Cryptocurrencies and a pyramid scheme
  • The development of cryptocurrencies and the implications for the economy and financial system
    • Prospects for the development of cryptocurrencies in the context of acting as money
    • The use of cryptocurrencies and the benefi ts and risks for individual users
    • The stability of the economy and the fi nancial system and the functioning and development of cryptocurrencies

Chapter 3. Legal aspects of cryptocurrencies

  • Legal nature of cryptocurrencies
    • The concept of electronic means of payment without the issuer
    • Legal essence of cryptocurrencies
    • Cryptocurrencies as financial instruments
    • Cryptocurrencies and barter
  • Lawfulness of cryptocurrencies
    • Prohibition on the use of cryptocurrencies
    • Legal consequences of qualifying the cryptocurrency system as a pyramid scheme
  • Legal aspects of cryptocurrency creation
  • Legal aspects of making payments using cryptocurrencies
    • Sources of law
    • Payment using cryptocurrency as a change of entry in the registry, which is a blockchain
    • The moment of performance of commitment using cryptocurrency
    • The responsibility for the validity of the transaction carried out using cryptocurrency
  • Cryptocurrency and the monopoly of the central bank on issuance of money
    • Cryptocurrencies and other electronic means of payment without the issuer as money — a legal perspective
    • Cryptocurrency system as a system striving for universality
    • Cryptocurrency as a threat to the money which is legal tender and monetary sovereignty of the state
    • Cryptocurrencies and legal protection of the monetary sovereignty of the state
  • Legal regulation concerning the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing in relation to the payments using cryptocurrencies
    • Recommendations and guidelines by FATF
    • Prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing in relation to the payments using cryptocurrencies in the law of European Union, Poland and U.S.
  • Taxation of cryptocurrencies and other electronic means of payment without the issuer
    • Income taxes
    • Value added tax (VAT)
    • The problem of using cryptocurrencies for tax evasion

Chapter 4. Conclusions

  • Literature
  • List of legal acts
  • Case law
  • Websites
  • Other materials

Notes about the authors
List of figures
List of tables


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