The impact, relationships, and performance of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies with regard to financial systems and societies
Cryptocurrencies are digital currencies that make use of cryptography to regulate the creation and transactions of exchange units. Generally, cryptocurrencies are completely decentralized in the sense that they are not created by any central authority and so, in principle, are immune to central-bank interference. At present, it is estimated that the transaction volume in cryptocurrencies exceeds 100 million USD per day. Cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, ethereum, litecoin and monero have recently both gained and fallen rapidly in value. Such price volatility is presumably driven by changes in the policy and practices of private firms, individuals and governments that affect their supply; as well as sentiment and linkage factors not directly related to their fundamental value. Cryptocurrencies have understandably attracted a plethora of attention from investors, regulators and the media, with attention from academia correspondingly growing.
Blockchain, originally established as a digital recording process to validate bitcoin transactions, avoids the supervision, surveillance, interference, and competencies of financial intermediaries, in favor of machine-driven systems that are inherently less transparent. Blockchain technology has the potential to be used for a wide variety of purposes beyond being a simple payment system. Some laud this technology for its potential to establish a new era of services that are less reliant on intermediaries. Consequently, this technology appeals greatly to those with a distrust of states in favor of individuals. Alternatively, however, some see blockchain as potentially affording a powerful technology that is both not transparent and not controllable; thereby leading to inherent conflicts in democratic societies.
As Adam Greenfield notes in his book Radical Technologies: The Design of Everyday Life, cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology have tremendous potential to catalyze social disruption, with social and political implications as yet unknown with regard to the business model of financial institutions, the inclusivity of financial services, the role of central banks; as well as the relative delegation of power and responsibility of people versus machines with regard to the moment-by-moment functioning of financial systems.
Clearly, more research is required to fully understand the impact, relationships, and performance of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies. The purpose of this call for papers is to encourage this research. We invite both theoretical and empirical papers, using quantitative or qualitative methods. Cross-disciplinary studies are welcome. Potential topics include, but are not limited to:
This special issue of RIBAF will be guest edited by Shaen Corbet of Dublin City University; Brian M. Lucey of Trinity College Dublin, Andrew Urquhart of the Centre for Digital Finance, Southampton Business School, University of Southampton and the International Capital Market Association Centre; and Larisa Yarovaya of Lord Ashcroft International Business School, Anglia Ruskin University.
To submit, go to https://www.journals.elsevier.com/research-in-international-business-and-finance and select SI CRYPTOCURRENCIES. The deadline for submissions is January 15, 2019. We anticipate a successful conclusion of the review process by late 2019 and publication of this special issue in early 2020. Please direct inquiries to Andrew Urquhart ([log in to unmask]).
On behalf of the guest editors, look forward to your submissions!
—John W. Goodell, Editor-in-Chief, Research in International Business and Finance