DIGITAL CURRENCIES AND THEIR POTENTIAL TO DISRUPT AND REPLACE FIAT MONEY: THE CASE OF BITCOINS

Virginia Kirigo Wachira, Esther Wanjiru Wachira

Abstract


This paper aims to investigate how digital currencies have caused a drastic evolution, especially in the payment sector. It aims to further studies on how bitcoin is the most conspicuous digital currency and is perceived as disruptive innovation with the potential of replacing fiat currency. The study was employed through a case study to examine whether bitcoins are disruptive innovation or a threat to the Central Banks and Fiat money. The study adopted a mixed approach research design by using qualitative and quantitative research approaches. The literature reviewed journals were published in credible journals in various databases. The Time series analysis approach was used to forecast the future prices of bitcoins. The study used an in-sample and out-of-sample time series forecasting using the Gretl software. The ARIMA (1,2,1) Model was found to be a good fit with 85% accuracy (the Mean Absolute Percentage Error -MAPE was 15%) to forecast the future of bitcoin prices. The outcome of the forecast suggested that bitcoin price will have a gradual but insignificant increase. The results of this study also suggest that bitcoins fail to fulfill the functions of money as a store of value, medium of exchange, and unit of account. This is attributed to high price volatility, lack of centralization, and exposure to hackers and fraudsters. The study further suggests that bitcoins are not disruptive innovations and do not pose any threat to the Central banks and the Fiat currency in the future. The results support that bitcoin can benefit the community as well as attracting investors as a speculative investment mainly because the bitcoins are limited in transactions. The study recommends more research on the potential impact of the Central bank's digital currencies on National and Global currencies particularly because China launched its digital Yuan recently.

JEL: G21; E58; E51; 031; C10

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Keywords


digital currency, bitcoins, fiat money, disruptive innovations, disruptive technologies

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.46827/ejefr.v5i1.1052

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