Dr. Josh Hendrickson is an associate professor of economics and chair of the Economics Department at the University of Mississippi. In this interview, we discuss how Bitcoin has influenced his economic teaching, the importance of Bitcoin in the current unprecedented global debt bubble, and why people continue to dismiss Bitcoin.
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“Bitcoin and the entire process that led up to it was motivated by the desire to make the world a better place and internet commerce more private. It was a true technological innovation. The market will decide what that innovation is worth.” We’re used to hearing such statements from ardent Bitcoiners. But this statement was made by Dr Josh Hendrickson, an economics professor who chairs a University Economics Department at one of the US’s top public universities.
Bitcoin is still dismissed by a significant number of well-placed people within society. We hear from many people who are passionate about Bitcoin but feel unable to discuss this within their work networks for fear of ridicule that could harm their career paths. This is why having esteemed individuals from traditional academic backgrounds advocating for Bitcoin is so critical.
A professorship is a hard-won title. It takes years of graft. The history of academia is littered with stories of people being ostracised for taking left-field positions. Therefore, academics, particularly professors and department chairs, are not ones for throwing weight behind ideas that are not inherently sound or principled. So, as with the growing list of people BPI has been attracting, these academics provide the solid rationalisation of Bitcoin’s thesis.
This is not to state that there is a consensus within these groups regarding Bitcoin’s path over the coming years and decades. We live in tumultuous times. The world’s economic and political landscape is at the mercy of an almost limitless number of changing variables. But, there is a growing consensus that Bitcoin is a unique innovation, a new form of money with the potential to protect those who need it most. All other debates to justify Bitcoin should fall by the wayside.