Thursday, March 14, 2019

The secret of crytocurrencies revealed!

For the longest time, I never "got" crytocurrencies. I never bought into the idea of an urgent need for a currency that is outside the control of the "authorities", or how you ascribe value to something that had no cash flow. If it has no cash flow, then how do you calculate a DCF value? Here is the perspective from Morningstar:
As with copper ingots, seashells, peacock feathers, and gold before it, cryptocurrency is a medium of exchange, rather than something that creates wealth on its own. It can be used to purchase cash--but it does not earn it. Try as you wish, your bitcoin receipt won't trigger dividend checks, any more than will a sheaf of peacock feathers or a mountain's worth of copper.

Assessing cryptocurrencies by calculating the value of their future payments is therefore a dead end. If cyber coins can be appraised, even tentatively, another approach must be found.

That cryptocurrencies do not generate cash does not mean that they lack worth. Seashells and peacock feathers don't go very far these days, but throughout history and across societies, gold has reliably been prized. So, too, have been rare gems.
How do you keep it safe? One of the functions of a bank, which exists within the formal financial system, is to keep you money safer than stuffing it under the mattress. Banks are there to mitigate situations of the apocryphal story of the Bitcoin pioneer who put a token $100 into BTC during its early days. Several years later, he realized he was a millionaire but he lost his password.

This also brings up the issue of the role of money and banking in managing a medium of exchange that functions as a store of value.

The full post can be found here.

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