A group of economic policy experts met at AEI on Monday to discuss the regulatory challenges that bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies pose.

Alex J. Pollock of the R Street Institute started by providing the historical context in which cryptocurrencies have gained popularity. Clemson University’s Jerry Dwyer explained key trends in global bitcoin exchanges and outlined several recommendations for cryptocurrency regulations.

Next, Bert Ely of Ely & Company Inc. highlighted the role that the blockchain technology plays in propagating cryptocurrency and what it means for policymakers. He also discussed the role that speculations play in driving the market value of cryptocurrency and the current flaws in cryptocurrency mechanisms, pointing out that there is no argument for central banks to issue cryptocurrencies.

AEI’s Paul H. Kupiec described the function that currencies have played historically, from ancient Croesus to colonial America. He pointed out that, although cryptocurrencies might represent a financial bubble, such bubbles are in fact frequent in financial history.