Cryptocurrencies: market analysis and perspectives

The papers in this special issue focus on the emerging phenomenon of cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrencies are digital financial assets, for which ownership and transfers of ownership are guaranteed by a cryptographic decentralized technology. The rise of cryptocurrencies’ value on the market and the growing popularity around the world open a number of challenges and concerns for business and industrial economics. Using the lenses of both neoclassical and behavioral theories, this introductory article discusses the main trends in the academic research related to cryptocurrencies and highlights the contributions of the selected works to the literature. A particular emphasis is on socio-economic, misconduct and sustainability issues. We posit that cryptocurrencies may perform some useful functions and add economic value, but there are reasons to favor the regulation of the market. While this would go against the original libertarian rationale behind cryptocurrencies, it appears a necessary step to improve social welfare.