Are cryptocurrencies the future of money?

"Bitcoin". MasterTux, used under CC0

This month’s episode of the LSE IQ podcast investigates whether cryptocurrencies are the future of money, a speculative bubble that will burst, or something else.

In 2008 a person or group going under the pseudonym ‘Satoshi Nakamoto’ published a white paper setting out the fundamentals of a peer- to- peer electronic cash system called bitcoin. This would do away with the need to rely on financial institutions, acting as trusted third parties, to process electronic payments. Instead money could be sent directly from one party to another.

Transactions would be verified and recorded permanently on the blockchain. This digital ledger would be distributed across a large network of computers and guard against a risk specific to digital currency  - that it can be fraudulently spent twice. Technology, Satoshi Nakamoto claimed, would replace the need for trust.

Bitcoin was the first decentralised cryptocurrency, and hundreds of others have been created since.

In this episode we talk to Dr Tatiana Cutts, Assistant Professor, LSE Department of Law, Professor Nigel Dodd, LSE Department of Sociology; Dr Garrick Hileman, Research Associate, University of Cambridge and LSE, Dr Natacha Postel-Vinay, Assistant Professor, LSE Department of Economic History.

Each episode of LSE IQ sees a range of LSE academics, and other experts, line up to give their perspective on one timely question. For all episodes of LSE IQ, and to subscribe on iTunes and SoundCloud, please visit or search for 'LSE IQ' in your favourite podcast app, or subscribe on Apple Podcasts .