April 14, 2015 – James Angel, associate professor of finance at Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business (MSB) examines the use, relevance and ethical considerations of Bitcoin digital currency.
Earlier this academic year, Angel and MSB professor Doug McCabe explored the many ethical considerations behind how consumers pay and how businesses receive payments electronically in a study appearing in the Journal of Business Ethics.
“Consumers and businesses have many choices of how to make payments and what forms of payments to accept, each of which imposes different levels of costs and benefits,” Angel said. “The continuing evolution in the technology of payments, particularly with Bitcoin, raises interesting ethical questions.”
Bitcoin uses encryption techniques to verify the transfer of funds and can be transferred directly from one digital wallet to another with no central bank in between.
Consequently, Bitcoin operates almost independently of any country or banking regulations. The digital currency also may be traded under any username one chooses to create, allowing transactions to be almost anonymous.