I have been waiting for decades for someone to invent a purely digital currency, a currency for online purchases that wasn’t linked to a credit card. It was the killer app (as we used to say) that no one ever figured out.
Thus when Bitcoin first emerged, I had hoped that it would be The One. What the Bitcoin bubble shows, however, is that Bitcoin is just another e-currency failure.
Whatever the original intention, Bitcoin has morphed into an asset whose only purpose is speculation. “There is simply no way to predict what it will be worth,” said Pete Kight, a fintech investor who founded Checkfree in 1981. That is its fatal flaw as an electronic currency.
The other flaw is the very quality that many of its adherents love most about it: It operates separately from the government’s fiat currency. “I call it the tyranny of brilliance,” said Kight. “When you work in fintech, you often see engineering genius get out of synch with what works in the real world.”
But we’ll have to wait a little longer for an electronic currency that works.
Eulogy made by Joe Nocera