Towards a Trustless Crypto-Monetary Order?

The development of cryptocurrencies appears as one of the most vivid challenges to money, another pillar of the international economic order. Bitcoin was meant not only to disrupt the payment industry but also to materialize the libertarian dream of “trustless” money created outside the reach of territorial governments and banks. The paper aims at critically assessing Bitcoin as a significant institutional and monetary project. Although Bitcoin is not widely used and far from being able to compete with any official currency, it still exhibits monetary features emphasized by its crisis. If supporters of Bitcoin predict that it could challenge the current international monetary order, the paper also examines the emerging central bank cryptocurrencies. Despite the illusion that they received a State’s monetary unction, these sovereign cryptocurrencies defy the whole purpose of the Bitcoin by increasing the centralization trend, and granting more control to the states and central banks.