Topic: Bitcoin's Fatal Flaw: The Limited Adoption Problem
Speaker: Fahad Saleh, McGill University
Time: Wednesday, 9 October, 10:00-11:30
Location: Room 217, Guanghua Building 2
Abstract: Bitcoin remains sparsely adopted even a decade after its birth. We demonstrate theoretically that this limited adoption arises as an inescapable equilibrium outcome rather than as a transient feature. We establish such a result for a wide class of blockchains that employ Proof-of-Work. Our results arise due to three features: (1) an arti_cial supply constraint, (2) free entry to the validator network, and (3) a need for consensus. Network delay precludes relaxing the supply constraint as a solution. Nonetheless, we demonstrate that permissioned blockchains may obtain widespread adoption, thereby highlighting the need for research on alternatives to Bitcoin.
Fahad Saleh is an Assistant Professor of Finance at McGill University. His research examines the economics associated with blockchain and divides into two related areas: (i) economic limitations of Bitcoin and (ii) Bitcoin alternatives. Saleh’s work highlighting economic limitations of Bitcoin provides guidance for practitioners and computer scientists in devising Bitcoin alternatives. His research on Bitcoin alternatives studies the most practically relevant blockchain concepts including Proof-of-Stake and permissioned blockchains. His work has been presented at the American Economic Association, the American Finance Association and the Western Finance Association. He has received the Western Finance Association’s Cubist award and the Northern Finance Association’s best FinTech paper award. Saleh holds a Bachelor of Science in Engineering (summa cum laude) from Cornell University, a Master of Science in Engineering (under fellowship) from Columbia University and a Ph.D. in Finance from NYU Stern.
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