The modern monetary system is changing in a fast pace. Electronic Card payments gain every year in importance (Capgemini, 2017) and new crypto currencies like bitcoin gain influence quickly (Matonis, 2012; Metz, 2016). In contrast to card payments, crypto currencies are not easily traceable and can be used as a private way of payment in an online environment. This gives crypto currencies similar privacy features like cash payments, since cash also can’t be traced instantly. Additionally, crypto currencies are less centrally regulated than conventional currencies and do not need a centralized banking and government system to work. Finally, crypto currencies rely mostly on the World Wide Web, can be initialized in any country with comparable low cost and can be distributed and used over the connected world. These properties could make crypto currencies a gamer changer in the near future and already some banks include crypto currency technology (blockchain) to secure their transactions (Metz, 2016).
The downside is, that like cash bills, crypto currencies can be used for criminal activities. For instance, the black internet market “Silk Road” processed its payments with bitcoin to protect criminals from police investigation (Santori, 2017). A straight-forward reaction could be to just forbid the use of crypto currencies or to let it be controlled by governments. This however could have adverse side effects. Citizens had no private way for payments, games and other services use digital currencies legally (BBC, 2015) and the higher regulation would limit the development and innovation of financial products.
The research question of the current study is: How can criminal activities that are connected to crypto currencies be reduced without limiting the privacy features of crypto currencies? To answer this question, it is argued that people are more honest while interacting with something they value more. It is further argued that people value crypto currencies more after spending effort into creating it. Subsequently the higher perceived value of the crypto currency, should lead to an increase of honesty.
In other words: if more citizens spend effort in the creation of crypto currencies, it should increase the honesty of these citizens while interacting with the same crypto currency.
Honesty; Self-Concept maintenance theory; inattention to moral standards; categorization malleability
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