I'm not very knowledgeable about cryptocurrencies and one of my units in my degree is about the ethical implications of 'Emerging Tech in finance' the first thing I thought about was Cryptocurrencies...

I'm wondering if anyone knows of some ethical debates I could talk about. I'm currently looking at:

  • The un-traceability/anonymity of Bitcoin for example. As It's being used of black markets for purchasing illegal activities/items.
  • The effect cryptocurrencies have on the financial markets.
  • The difference between a virtual currency and a conventional currency.
  • The anarcho-capitalism effects it could have.

Other views and opinions are welcome! Much appreciated!

  • 1
    Flagged as Too Broad, because it's 4 in 1 question, and 2nd and 3rd belongs to Economics SE, and 4th to Politics SE. – user28434 Feb 28 '18 at 12:50
  • They were not questions if you read it properly. The question was asking if there are ethical debates regarding cryptocurrencies. The others were merely saying what I've been looking at. – Adam Wheater Feb 28 '18 at 14:27

You might look at :


Chapter Title: Can Virtual Currencies Increase Political Power? Book Title: National Security Implications of Virtual Currency Book Subtitle: Examining the Potential for Non-state Actor Deployment Book Author(s): Joshua Baron, Angela O’Mahony, David Manheim and Cynthia DionSchwarz Published by: RAND Corporation. (2015) Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7249/j.ctt19rmd78.9

Political power always has ethical implications.


Chapter Title: Characteristics of the Black Market Book Title: Markets for Cybercrime Tools and Stolen Data Book Subtitle: Hackers' Bazaar Book Author(s): Lillian Ablon, Martin C. Libicki and Andrea A. Golay Published by: RAND Corporation. (2014) Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7249/j.ctt6wq7z6.9

There does not appear to be a great deal of material for your purpose. This is awkward in a way, because it means starting from near-zero. But it has the advantage that any idea you hit on is unlikely to have been developed by anyone else.

The two chapters might just stimulate your thinking. Hope so.But


A virtual currency is very like cash. Cash is -largely-untraceable and anonymous, can cross borders, be used in black markets, all that. It is not the new-new it is made out to be, economically.

Have a listen to A History Of Debt: The First 5,000 Years https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b054zdp6/episodes/player Or I am sure the book is legally available free online. This really sets the swings between trading debt, and trading materials, in context.


This is a broad answer, but you could look at the issues of power distribution brought on by capital. Look back to the Occupy Wall Street protests in 2011, protesting the “1%”. Now that bitcoin has made some very normal and average citizens into millionaires (in some cases) overnight, how might that power shift change global politics?

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