New Research Maps Bitcoin’s Multidiscipline Influence on Academia and Global Industries
Bitcoin (BTC) is gaining a lot of attention from the media and appreciation from the public following the recent spike in prices to over $9000 USD, up from $3,500 USD in January. The increased appreciation for the coin is spreading across industries like wildfire owing to its first movers’ advantage it holds in the blockchain space. However, Bitcoin is not experiencing anything new (only at a larger scale) as the research on Bitcoin’s influence on academic research shows.
“Mapping Bitcoin’s Influence on Academic Research”
In a report by Mark Holub and Jackie Johnson titled, “Mapping Bitcoin’s Influence on Academic Research” the authors pick 1,206 random academic papers from researchers between 2011 and 2016. The research papers were mapped out to reveal the various fields represented in the paper including tax, economics, accounting, finance, critical thought, technology and regulation.
The interest in Bitcoin is shifting from the technicalities of the blockchain to how the coin impacts the global transactions, economies and financial systems today. The research concluded that Bitcoin is significantly influencing the academic research field at the time in multiple disciplines.
The research included papers from journals (which represented over 43% of the total sample size), papers in published proceedings and unpublished papers, each contributing about 25% of the sample size. The top three disciplines in the research were technology, economics and regulation.
Technology was the most popular discipline accounting for 30% of the total papers followed closely by Economics which contributed 25% of the sample. Regulation is also an interesting topic on Bitcoin as academics focus on the role of governments in the adoption of Bitcoin (17%). However, the prevalence of critical thinking in the study at 14% is a shock as it beat finance (8%), Tax (4.3%) and accounting (1.1%) disciplines.
The Impact of Bitcoin on Various Academic Disciplines
Technology topped in the research owing to the numerous number of papers published on the behaviour of mining pools, development and potential use of Bitcoin’s blockchain, privacy measures of wallet accounts and the security of the Bitcoin network.
The influence of Bitcoin in Economic papers stems from a broad range of issues including the relationship between Bitcoin and various exchange rates, effect on monetary systems and policies, the impact of BTC on payment systems and the economic and political situation on BTC in a range of countries. The finance field mainly focuses on the volatility and return aspects of Bitcoin across multiple exchanges.
The report further lists regulation and legal requirements for the digital asset as a key topic across academics. The research papers concentrate on how BTC relates to aspects of the law such as bankruptcy, contract, property, and other securities. Furthermore, tax regulations and criminal aspects involving BTC are key topics of discussion.
“Of the 917 relevant papers, 157 relate to the regulation of Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, and virtual currencies.”
Looking forward to today, the research remains relevant as the growing popularity of the pioneer cryptocurrency is evident.
Bitcoin price chart (Apr 2013-Jan 2015) sowing spike above $1000 USD (Source: Coinmarketcap)
Bitcoin has experienced a sharp rise in the number of Google searches according to the statistics provided by Google Trends. The top crypto experienced a sharp spike during the 2013-2014 period when the coin also soared in value to over $1000 USD, marking a new journey for the coin.
“Bitcoin” search interest over the past year (Source: Google Trends)
Bitcoin is slowly regaining the pace after a long crypto winter in 2018 that saw the coin drop by over 80% from its all-time highs. Since January, BTC’s Google Trend charts has climbed significantly as seen from the chart above. The leading searches stems from Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa.