Work in Progress
From Manillas to Bitcoins: Monetary Consolidation and the Strategic Regulation of Alternative Currencies.
Under what conditions will multiple currencies circulate in a domestic market? While states have a variety of policies with which to defend their monopoly control over the medium of exchange, they are not uniformly enforced over space and time. In this article, I draw on a search-theoretic model of domestic exchange in which a state decides the degree to which they either tacitly allow an alternative currency to circulate or employ currency restrictions such as fines and confiscation schemes. Having derived predictions on the economic environments in which states will pro-actively restrict alternate currencies from circulating, I conduct a case study of monetary consolidation in the British colonial empire focusing on their ousting of the manilla as the primary medium of exchange. Further, I argue the lessons from the model and case can inform our understanding of the variable cross-national regulations of digital currency used as a medium of exchange.