Session Title: "Crypto (currency?) and the Digitalization of Money"
Speaker: Hanin Khawaja, PhD Candidate, The New School for Social Research, USA
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Session description: The main objective of the research is to establish a framework that asses if cryptocurrencies are, or can be considered, money (or a type of money). Since the cryptocurrency space is vast with heterogenous protocols and designs, I use Bitcoin as an example. The presentation is divided into three sections; in the first section, the bitcoin ecosystem is explained with an emphasis on the mining process and the predetermined supply schedule of bitcoins. The aim is to provide audience with a general understanding of the bitcoin protocol and highlight the features needed to follow the research. In the second section, I set up a triangular framework through which the question of “is bitcoin money?” is answered. The framework consists of three general criteria (i) functions of money; means of payment, unit of account, and store of value, (ii) monetary and money theories; both classical and neoclassical, (iii) supply of money, which compares the supply structures of money (current and historical) to bitcoin. The framework is then used to determine if bitcoin holds as money when it’s examined through the general criteria. Historically, all monies met, at least, two out of the three criteria. In The third section, I consider implications of wider bitcoin adoption on money-supply, intermediation and financial stability.

Bio: PhD candidate at The New School for Social Research (NSSR) and cofounder of Feminists in Economics Student Association (FESA). Currently, she is a teaching fellow at Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts, instructing a course on Currency Systems from Commodity to Crypto. Hanin also holds an MSc in Public Policy from the Milano School of Policy, she spent the last five years as an independent consultant and economic policy analyst working on several policy reports for local and multilateral institutions