In Defence of Crypto Currencies
People rightly irritated by NFTs often lump Bitcoin et al. into the mix, and some of the complaints go too far.
The Use Case
A friend owed me €100, and wanted to send that money to me online. The traditional banks demanded:
- Looking up the IBAN
- About €15 processing (possibly more for Scotland to Serbia, I never looked up the specifics)
- Three days’ waiting.
Instead, he set me up with a wallet in about 20 minutes, then we took another 10 to transfer the money. It cost €0.35 to transfer.
Clearly, this works better than traditional methods.
It’s a scam
Lots people people make false claims about crypto currencies, and lots of people lose money, but it’s not designed as a scam. It has real use-cases.
It’s too volatile
Crypto currencies don’t go down in price over the course of hours, or years. Take any two-year period, and Bitcoin will not have dropped in price. So anyone wanting to use Bitcoin for a quick transfer, who also has a Bitcoin machine (we have some here in Belgrade) can save a lot of time and effort, without worrying that their money will be lost.
People can also use Bitcoin for long-term savings, but less well-known currencies may well lose all value over time.
Obviously, volatility still presents a problem for medium-term transactions.
Crypto currencies are just bad, and will remain bad until proof-of-steak solutions, or something that doesn’t demand constantly doing pointless work, takes off.
Until we can buy products in under three seconds, people can’t buy most things with Bitcoin, which makes it a rubbish currency.
All in All
Crypto currencies have disappointed most enthusiasts, but the potential for useful crypto currencies exist, and I remain hopeful that one day I’ll be able to buy a packet of fags with a QR code and a simple app, without worrying about the environment.