DCC Library

The Digital Currency Council has aggregated the most significant documents on digital currencies. This library is not meant to include every relevant document, but instead has been curated to include only those documents critical to our members education on digital currencies. If you believe we have missed an important document, please let us know at inquiries@digitalcurrencycouncil.com

A much longer list of uncategorized scholarly works on Bitcoin can be found here.

Title Authors Date Type Summary Link
A Bit of a Problem: National and Extraterritorial Regulation of Virtual Currency in the Age of Financial Disintermediation Pflaum, Isaac
Hateley, Emmeline
2014 Publication This paper discusses what Bitcoin is, why it is important, and how it has been regulated to date. It uses Silk Road as a case study of how the U.S. Criminal Code can be used to regulate Virtual Currency in the absence of international coordination. Read More
An Analysis of Anonymity in the Bitcoin System Reid, Fergal
Harrigan, Martin
May. 7, 2012 Publication This paper considers the topological structure of two networks derived from Bitcoin’s public transaction history. It argues that the two networks share a non-trivial topological structure, provide complementary views of the Bitcoin system and have implications for anonymity. Read More
Analysis of Bitcoin Pooled Mining Reward Systems Rosenfeld, Meni Nov. 17, 2011 Publication This paper describes the various scoring systems used to calculate rewards of participants in Bitcoin pooled mining and explains the problems each were designed to solve. Read More
Application of FinCEN’s Regulations to a Virtual Currency Payment System FinCEN Oct. 27, 2014 Administrative Guidance Application of FinCEN’s regulations to a virtual currency trading system Read More
Application of FinCEN’s Regulations to a Virtual Currency Trading Platform FinCEN Oct. 27, 2014 Administrative Guidance Application of FinCEN’s Regulations to a Virtual Currency Trading Platform Read More
Application of FinCEN’s Regulations to Virtual Currency Mining Operations FinCEN Jan. 30, 2014 Administrative Guidance Application of FinCEN’s regulations to virtual currency mining operations. Read More
Application of FinCEN’s Regulations to Virtual Currency Software Development and Certain Investment Activity FinCEN Jan. 30, 2014 Administrative Guidance Application of FinCEN’s regulations to virtual currency software development and certain investment activity. Read More
Application of FinCEN’s Regulatioons to Persons Administering, Exchanging, or Using Virtual Currencies FinCEN Mar. 18, 2013 Administrative Guidance Application of FinCEN’s Regulations to Persons Administering, Exchanging, or Using Virtual Currencies Read More
Bitcoin and Beyond: The Possibilities and Pitfalls of Virtual Currencies Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis
Andolfatto, David
Aug. 2014 Administrative Guidance This paper discusses the rising popularity of virtual currencies, with an emphasis on Bitcoin. It answers what they are, how they work, and other commonly asked questions. Read More
Bitcoin NFC Bronleewe, David Allen Aug. 2011 Publication This paper describes the development of Bitcoin NFC, an Android app designed to send bitcoins from one Android device to another. Read More
Bitcoin Transaction Malleability and MtGox Decker, Christian
Wattenhofer, Roger
Mar. 2014 Publication In February 2014 MtGox closed and filed for bankruptcy claiming that attackers used malleability attacks to drain its accounts. This paper shows that while malleability attacks are real, there were no widespread attacks before the closure of MtGox. Read More
Bitcoin: A First Assessment Woo, David
Gordon, Ian
Iaralov, Vadim
Bank of America, Merrill Lynch
Dec. 5, 2013 Publication Concludes that Bitcoin could become a major means of payment for e-commerce and may emerge as a serious competitor to traditional money-transfer providers. Additionally, Bitcoin’s role as a store of value can compromise its viability as a medium of exchange. Its high volatility is hindering its general acceptance as a means of payments for on-line commerce. Read More
Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System Nakamoto, Satoshi Nov. 2008 Publication This paper was Satoshi Nakamoto’s White Paper that first described Bitcoin and how a peer-to-peer electronic cash system would work. Read More
Bitcoin: An Alternative Digital Currency Grinberg, Reuben Nov. 11, 2011 Publication This paper explains how Bitcoin works and compares it to other forms of payments. It also explores whether it can become a stable currency. Read More
Bitcoin: More than a Bit Risky Financial Industry Regulatory Authority May. 7, 2014 Administrative Guidance The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority issued this alert to caution investors about the risks of buying and using digital currencies. Read More
Bitcoin: Questions, Answers, and Analysis of Legal Issues Congressional Research Service Jul. 15, 2014 Administrative Guidance This report answers some basic questions about Bitcoin, summarizes reasons for and against its adoption;.and discusses the legal and regulatory issues raised by Bitcoin and other digital currencies. Read More
Client Alert: Recent Developments in the Regulation of Bitcoin under State and Federal Securities Laws Hunton & Williams
Kimpel, Scott
Mar. 2014 Law Firm Hunton & Williams published this alert to advise its clients about some of the things they should consider when dealing with Bitcoin and other virtual currencies. Read More
Coining Bitcoin’s “Legal-Bits”: Examining the Regulatory Framework for Bitcoin and Virtual Currencies Ly, Matthew Kien-Meng May. 2014 Publication This paper explains what Bitcoin is, why people use it, and why the government should care. In addition, it contemplates applying existing legal frameworks to the regulation of Bitcoin. Read More
Davis Polk Summary of Published Comments on and Expected Changes to BitLicense Davis Polk Nov. 7, 2014 Law Firm Davis Polk summarizes 35 public comment letters published in response to New York’s BitLicense proposal. Read More
Economics of Bitcoin: Is Bitcoin an alternative to currencies and gold? Surda, Peter Nov. 19, 2012 Publication This paper presents an economic analysis of Bitcoin from a libertarian’s point of view. Of particular interest is the evolution of money, competition among media of exchange, and the concept of money supply. Read More
Enabling Blockchain Innovations with Pegged Sidechains Back, Adam
Corallo, Matt
Dashjr, Luke
Friedenbach, Matt; Maxwell, Gregory; Miller, Andrew, Poelstra; Timon, Jorge; Wuille, Pieter
Oct. 22, 2014 Publication This paper proposes a new technology, pegged sidechains, which enables bitcoins and other ledger assets to be transferred between multiple blockchains. This gives users access to new and innovative cryptocurrency systems using the assets they already own. By reusing Bitcoin’s currency, these systems can more easily interoperate with each other and with Bitcoin, avoiding the liquidity shortages and market fluctuations associated with new currencies. Read More
FATF Guidance for a Risk-Based Approach: Prepaid Cards, Mobile Payments and Internet-Based Payment Systems Financial Action Task Force Jun. 2013 Publication The paper proposes guidance on the risk-based approach to AML/CFT measures and regulation in relation to NPPS of prepaid cards, mobile payments, and Internet-based payment services. Read More
FTC Complaint against Butterfly Labs Federal Trade Commission Sep. 15, 2014 Court Document Complaint for permanent injunction and other remedies against Butterfly Labs, a company that sold Bitcoin mining machines and services but failed to deliver them. Read More
How to Ensure Bitcoin Security Antonopoulos, Andreas M. Oct. 10, 2014 Publication This paper discusses 5 things people should do to secure their Bitcoin wallets. Read More
How to Make Bitcoin a Better Currency Barber, Simon
Boyen, Xavier
Shi, Elaine
Uzun, Ersin
Publication This paper investigates what made Bitcoin successful and looks at how Bitcoin can achieve long-term stabilitity. Read More
Investor Alert: Bitcoin and Other Virtual Currency-Related Investments U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission May 07, 2014 Administrative Guidance This Investor Alert was made to inform investors about the risks of investing in Bitcoin and other forms of virtual currency. Read More
Investor Alert: Ponzi Schemes Using Virtual Currencies U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Jul. 23, 2013 Administrative Guidance This Investor Alert warns individual investors about fraudulent investment schemes that may involve Bitcoin and other virtual currencies. Read More
IRS Virtual Currency Guidance Internal Revenue Service Mar. 25, 2014 Administrative Guidance This notice describes how existing general tax principles apply to transactions using virtual currency. Read More
Merkelized Abstract Syntax Trees Rubin, Jeremy
Naik, Manali
Subramanian, Nitya
Dec. 16, 2014 Publication This paper presents a formalization and implementation of Russel O’Connor and Pieter Wuille’s work regarding Merkle trees. Using Merkelized Abstract Syntax Trees in the Bitcoin protocol would increase the complexity of contracts permitted on the network, while simultaneously manitaining the security of broadcasted data. Additionally, contracts may contain privileged, secret branches of execution. Read More
Model State Consumer and Investor Guidance on Virtual Currency Conference of State Bank Supervisors Apr. 23, 2014 Administrative Guidance This guidance assists state regulators in providing consumers with information about virtual currency and factors consumers should consider when transacting with or investing in virtual currency. Read More
Money is Memory Kocherlakota, Narayana R.
Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis
Oct. 1996 Publication This paper examines the sts of feasible allocations in a large class of economic environments in which commitment is impossible. The main proposition proves that any allocation that is feasible in an anvironment, the converse may or may not be true. Hence, from a technological point of view, money is equivalent to a primative form of memory. Read More
NYSDFS Proposed BitLicense Regulations New York State Department of Financial Services Jul. 17, 2014 State Regulator New York was the first state to try and regulate Virtual Currencies. This was its origanal proposal. Read More
On Subversive Miner Strategies and Block Withholding Attack in Bitcoin Digital Currency Courtois, Nicolas T.
Bahack, Lear
Dec. 2, 2014 Publication This paper looks at miner strategies with particular attention paid to subversive and dishonest strategies. Read More
On The Longest Chair Rule and Programmed Self-Destruction of Crypto Currencies Courtois, Nicolas T. 2014 Publication This paper looks at The Longest Chain Rule, the monetary supply policies, and the mechanisms that implement them. Read More
Overview of Colored Coins Rosenfeld, Meni Dec. 4, 2012 Publication By carefully tracking the origin of a given bitcoin, it is possible to color a set of coins to distinguish it from the rest. These colored bitcoins make use of the existing Bitcoin infrastructure and can be stored and transferred without the need for a third party. This paper discusses the implementation details of colored coins and some of their use cases. Read More
Private Key Recovery Combination Attacks: On Extreme Fragility of Popular Bitcoin Key Management, Wallet and Cold Storage Solutions in Presence of Poor RNG Events Courtois, Nicolas T.
Emirdag, Pinar
Valsorda, Filippo
2014 Publication This paper considers the question of management and operational security in bitcoin digital currency storage systems. It studies the security of two of the most used bitcoin HD Wallet key management solutions. Read More
Proving Your Bitcoin Reserves Wilcox, Zak Feb. 27, 2014 Online Article It argues that it is theoretically straightforward, using a Merkle tree-based technique, to verify a website’s bitcoin holdings. Read More
Quantitative Analysis of the Full Bitcoin Ron, Dorit
Shamir, Adi
Apr. 2013 Publication This paper answers a number of questions about the typical behavior of Bitcoin users, such as how they acquire and spend bitcoins, the balance they keep, and how they move bitcoins between accounts in order to protect their privacy. Read More
Record of Meeting-Does Bitcoin pose a threat to the banking system, economic activity, or financial stability? (p. 10) Federal Advisory Council and Board of Directors May 09, 2014 Administrative Guidance In Item 5, the Federal Reserve Board addresses the question, “Does Bitcoin pose a threat to the banking system, economic activity, or financial stability?” Read More
Regulating Cryptocurrencies in the United States: Current Issues and Future Directions Middlebrook, Stephen T.
Hughes, Sarah Jane
2014 Publication This paper reviews developments in 2013 and evaluates them against the backdrop federal and state financial regulations. Read More
Regulating Digital Currencies: Bringing Bitcoin within the Reach of the IMF Plassaras, Nicholas Apr. 7, 2013 Publication This paper examines the potentially destabilizing effects of digital currencies on the International Foreign Currency Exchange. It argues that the Exchange, which is responsible for coordinating the stability of foreign exchange rates, is ill-equipped to handle the widespread use of bitcoins in the foreign exchange market. Read More
Regulatory Treatment of Virtual Currencies Under the Kansas Money Transmitter Act Kansas Office of the State Bank Commissioner Jun. 6, 2014 State Regulator This document clarifies the applicability of the Kansas Money Transmitter Act to persons or entities engaged in the use and/or transmission of virtual currencies. Read More
Regulatory Treatment of Virtual Currencies Under the Texas Money Services Act Texas Department of Banking Apr. 3, 2014 State Regulator This document outlines the policy of the Texas Department of Banking with regard to virtual currencies and the Department’s interpretation of the Texas Money Service Act. It seeks to establish the regulatory treatment of virtual currencies under existing statutory definitions. Read More
Risks to consumers posed by virtual currencies Consumber Finance Protection Bureau Aug. 2014 Administrative Guidance The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau published this document to warn consumers about the risks posed by virtual currencies. Read More
SEC v. Shavers Eastern District of Texas Sep. 18, 2014 Court Document The criminal case against Trendon Shavers, the founder and operator of the Bitcoin Savings and Trust, who was accused of operating a Ponzi Scheme. Read More
Speculative Tech: The Bitcoin Legal Quagmire & the Neet for Legal Innovation Farmer Jr., Paul H. 2014 Publication This paper discusses the need to legally define Bitcoin in a pragmatic way so that it can flourish. Read More
Taxing and Regulating BitcoinL The Government’s Game of Catch Up McLeod, Patrick 2014 Publication This paper examines how cryptocurrency, specifically Bitcoin, fits within existing U.S. tax laws and discusses how the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) should address this issue. It conculdes that Bitcoins are financial instruments, and more specifically commmodities, and therefore should be classified as such for tax purposes. Read More
The Economics of Bitcoin Mining, or Bitcoin in the Presence of Adversaries Kroll, Joshua A.
Davey, Ian C.
Felten, Edward W.
Jun. 2013 Publication Bitcoin depends on a combination of cryptography, distributed algorithms, and incentive-driven behavior. This paper examines Bitcoin as a consensus game and considers the economics of Bitcoin mining. Read More
The Economics of Digital Currencies Ali, Robleh
Barrdear, John
Clews, Roger
Southgate, James
Oct. 2014 Publication The bulletin reaches 3 key conclusions. 1. Although digital currencies could, in theory, serve as money for anybody with an internet-enabled device, at present they act as money only to a limited extent and only for relatively few people. 2. The economics of the schemes as currently designed, both in terms of individuals’ incentives and at a macroeconomic level, pose significant challenges to their widespread adoption. 3. Digital currencies do not currently pose a material risk to monetary or financial stability in the U.K. The bank will continue to monitor developments in this area. Read More
The Nature of the Form: Legal and Regulatory Issues Surrounding the Bitcoin Digital Currency Doguet, Joshua 2013 Publication This paper looks at shortcomings of the current financial system and explains how Bitcoin’s architecture overcomes many of them. Read More
The Unreasonable Fundamental Incertitudes Behind Bitcoin Mining Courtois, Nicolas T.
Grajek, Marek
Naik, Rahul
Apr. 10, 2014 Publication This paper delves into the cryptographic process, which allows one to make money by mining bitcoins. It reformulates this problem as a Constrained Input Small Output (CISO) hashing problem and reduces it to a pure block cipher problem. Read More
Traveling the Silk Road: a measurement analysis of a large anonymous online marketplace Christin, Nicolas Jul. 30, 2012 Publication This paper analyzes Silk Road by looking at data during an eight month period from 2011-12. It outlines the type of goods being sold on Silk Road as well as the revenues made by both sellers and Silk Road operators. Read More
Trust, Identity, and Disclosure: Are Bitcoin Exchanges the Next Virtual Havens for Money Laundering and Tax Evasion? Gruber, Sarah 2013 Publication This paper discusses two risks posed by Bitcoin: money laundering and tax evasion. It does this by analyzing existing domestic and international law. Read More
Two Bitcoins at the Price of One? Double-Spending Attacks on Fast Payments in Bitcoin Karame, Ghassan
Androulaki, Elli
2012 Publication This paper analyzes the security of using Bitcoin for fast payments, where the time between the exchange of currency and goods is short. It focuses on double spending attacks on fast payments and demonstrates that these attacks can be mounted at low cost on currently depoloyed versions of Bitcoin. Read More
U.S. v Ulbricht U.S.D.C. S.D.N.Y. Jul. 9, 2014 Court Document Complaint against Silk Road’s creator, Ross Ulbricht. It was the first court to rule that bitcoins fell within the definition of “funds” under the money laundering statute. Read More
Valuing a Bitcoin Naber, Michael
Gadfly Capital
Dec. 12, 2013 Publication Because markets attribute things value based on how much people want them, and because people want nominal assets for the purposes of facilitating trade and storing wealth, an investor trying to value the bitcoin should consider how well bitcoin meets these purposes in comparison to the world’s other nominal assets. This paper examines how bitcoins compare to the world’s other nominal assets. Read More
Virtual Currencies: Key Definitions and Potential AML/CFT Risks Financial Action Task Force Jun. 2014 Publication This paper builds on the 2013 Payment Products and Services Guidance by suggesting a conceptual framework for understanding and addressing the anti-money laundering / countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) risks associated with virtual currencies. Read More
Virtual Currency Regulation Washington Department of Financial Institutions 2014 State Regulator The State of Washington published this to guide people in its regulation of Virtual Currencies. Read More
Virtual currency schemes European Central Bank Oct. 2012 Publication This paper explains what virtual currencies are and identifies the threats they pose. Read More
Whack-a-Mole: Why Prosecuting Digital Currency Exchanges Won’t Stop Online Money Laundering Christopher, Catherine Martin 2014 Publication This paper describes U.S. anti-money laundering (AML) laws, the use of Bitcoin as a money-laundering verhicle, and the problems it causes for law enforcement. Read More

All Scholarly Works
We also recommend browsing the following comprehensive list, containing over 300 additional scholarly works on Bitcoin: