Cryptocurrencies Are Not Currencies ... Yet

By Chris Skinner via

I’ve been watching the rollercoaster ride of cryptocurrencies very carefully for the last year, and it only struck me today that these are not currencies … yet. Apart from a few novelty vendors and merchants who put bitcoin on their websites, I don’t see many others accepting ether or XRP, and when I have tried to spend any crypto it has proven to be inordinately difficult. So why do we call these currencies?

Because eventually that is the hope. The hope is that one or two of these currencies, with bitcoin being the one that the punters are backing, will break out and become fully usable. Right now, it’s interesting however. Who spends bitcoin?

When I ask this question, I often get the reply: don’t think of bitcoin that way Chris; think of it as like Gold, and you can’t spend Gold in a supermarket, can you? A fairly stupid reply as Gold doesn’t claim to be a currency.

In fact, when I try to find out if anyone is running around using cryptocurrencies to pay for anything, I can’t find any stats or people talking about using it. In other words, these are assets, not currencies. As assets they are far more interesting. Adam Ludwin, the CEO and founder of Chain, explained it well in his superb blog response to Jamie Dimon called bitcoin a fraud last year .

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