10 Apr '13, 9pm

Bitcoin is not a real currency, just some 21st-century cowrie shells: The 'cryptocurrency' has more in common

Bitcoin is not a real currency, just some 21st-century cowrie shells: The 'cryptocurrency' has more in common

The rollercoaster ride of Bitcoin 's valuation has, after a couple of months of being pulled up the roller, hit the "coaster" part. Now is the time where the people on board have to decide if they're going to scream and jump out - which a fair chunk of money seems to be doing just now - or grit their teeth and hold on to the sides. And while they try to decide, things are going to move faster and faster. The crash - for that's very much what it looks like, with a week's gains lost in a matter of hours, and no sign of a bottom - has also exposed the fact that Bitcoin lacks many of the essential moving parts of a real modern currency that most of us don't see, but which are essential for it to be useful for exchanging things. On Tuesday morning, mindful that what was happening with Bitcoin was a classic bubble (where people hang on to a commodity because they expect the pric...

Full article: http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2013/apr/10/bitcoin-...

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