Cryptocurrency – Are cryptothings a currency, a commodity or something else?

November 18, 2017 (Windy Hill Beach, South Carolina) — Alan Kohler, publisher of The Constant Investor, reports that “… yesterday in London, American Express announced it has introduced instant blockchain payments using another cryptothing called Ripple, or rather the company behind it.” As I often do when I see the fruits of memorable wordsmithing, I registered a few cryptothings domain names!

Mr. Kohler coined the word “cryptothings” because he doesn’t consider cryptocurrencies to be currencies. Here’s his explanation: “Cryptocurrencies break two conventions of value: that digital assets have zero marginal cost, and that the value of an asset is either the present value of its future cash flows or some calculation of its utility or beauty (for example, Thursday’s sale of da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi for $US400 million). Bitcoins have a cost — in electricity — plus artificial scarcity, but no cash flows that can be discounted back to present value. As with gold, the cost of mining and transferring the things is not trivial: a website called Digiconomist reports that bitcoin’s energy consumption is up to 28 terawatt hours per year, about the same as the Slovak Republic. One transaction uses as much power as a normal household does for a week. So they are more like gold than either money or property, and for that reason they are mislabelled: they are neither currencies nor coins or even normal cash flow assets. So hereinafter I’m calling them cryptothings.”

Ref: Alan Kohler (publisher of The Constant Investor), “Cryptothings are a big bet on our digital future, as buyers predict a brave new world ahead”, The Weekend Australian, Nov 18, 2017, pp. 25, 38

One thought on “Cryptocurrency – Are cryptothings a currency, a commodity or something else?

  1. Ami Ben David, Co-Founder of SPiCE VC:

    “Bitcoin is now rewriting the definition books. Historically people thought of a store of value as “an asset you can predictably hold or trade”, but Bitcoin is a DIGITAL store of value, and as such, it adds the exponential Network Effect – Bitcoin is the Facebook of money, used by millions today, but over the next 10 years, it’s real challenge will be to adapt and improve as it reaches billions of users.”

    The above quote is from
    Jon Buck, “VC Expert Gurley: Bitcoin is Incredible Store of Value”, The Coin Telegraph, November 18, 2017 — https://cointelegraph.com/news/vc-expert-gurley-bitcoin-is-incredible-store-of-value

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