Beanie Babies are collectibles, cryptocurrencies are money. Both have had bubbles but only one of them is tied to a brand name and there have been plenty of great new collectibles that have taken its place since.
Cryptocurrencies on the other hand are a new solution to a new problem (digital native representation of value) and even if the current offer isn't perfect their development hasn't stoped or even slowed down in any considerable way and there's no reason to believe we won't continue to grow and make better products and solutions. Money isn't going away anytime soon.
It's been established over and over again that cryptocurrencies are not money. They are a collectible like Beanie Babies. Cryptocurrencies vary too much in value to be used as money. Would you go into a Starbucks and spend $4 USD dollars to buy a coffee, if there was a chance that the $4 might gain 10,000% in value over the next year? Of course not.
There have been dozens of good articles over the last two years comparing money to cryptocurrencies and detailing all of the differences. If you still don't understand the differences, at the end of 2018, then you are keeping yourself willfully misinformed, and I suspect no comment on Hacker News will be able to change your mind.
Sorry but that's not true. You may be confusing "money" with "currency" though.
There's at least one US state that allows paying taxes in cryptocurrencies and there are a few countries here in Europe where cryptos are legal tender.
Some reading required. ;-)
Legal tender must be accepted to extinguish a debt, by any party.
Just because bitcoin is not illegal doesn't make it legal tender. It may be used if all parties agree.
I understand the first link you gave says that Germany accepts Bitcoin as legal tender, but that is from a misunderstanding of what legal tender is. German vendors are within their rights to refuse it and insist upon real legal tender.
For those reading along, a useful baseline to get you straight on legal tender is in countries where fiat currencies are just broadly assumed to be valuable any legal tender laws are basically just ornamentation. Scotland, for example, doesn't have any bank notes as legal tender, just some old coins. Nobody in Scotland doubts that the notes they have are valuable, but its laws don't bother explicitly privileging this as "legal tender". Nevertheless if you get on a bus in Edinburgh with a goose and some shiny rocks and try to barter, well, you'll be lucky if the other passengers let you back off in one piece, let alone to get an actual ride. "Exact cash fare only".
Yes I have linked to it.
edit: In German: https://www.scribd.com/document/372651554/2018-02-27-Umsatzs...
The European Commission says :
"Within the euro area, only the euro has the status of legal tender."
"Yet...contractual parties are free to use...virtual currency schemes (e.g. Bitcoin). Although these are not official currencies and have no legal tender status, parties can agree to use them".
Germany has not made Bitcoin legal tender. Don't fool yourself.
The link I provided is jurisprudence in Germany but it doesn't impact the whole of the EU. Malta might soon join though.
If there are "a few countries here in Europe where cryptos are legal tender" then this is a big deal and you need to provide a reference.
Otherwise you just come across badly. Terms are important.
The German source says that for some purposes it is "treated equally to legal tender" and that "exchanging virtual currencies to legal tender and back is tax free". Neither statement makes sense if it were legal tender.
Its status for some purposes is similar to that of other non-Euro currencies (e.g. contracts between private parties agreeing on it etc), none of which are legal tender in Germany.
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are treated equally to legal tender in Germany.
I’m sceptical that you spent 20 years in fintech without learning the definition of legal tender.
If you go to a restaurant, eat your meal (thereby accumulating a debt) and slap legal tender on the table, the restaurant must accept it. They may also accept other things, like Visa credit cards or Ethereum. But they aren’t obligated to. The former is legal tender. The latter is a way to pay. Obligations around settling debt are the sole defining characteristic of legal tender, so it doesn’t make any sense to say one thing is “treated equally” to legal tender if it lacks this core characteristic.
If you travel abroad you may have to exchange your currency to pay for a meal, because your coin is not treated equality to legal tender locally, and the defining characteristic is that it settles the debt at the time of exchange. I believe that's a function that cryptocurrencies fulfil by design and if the court states they are to be treated equally to legal tender that seems to prove my point.
I'll bite. "Digital native representation of value" isn't a problem, it's a solution. Cryptocurrencies are a medium of facilitating that solution. No one would think to themselves, "I have a problem: I need a digital-first store of value or currency, now how can I do this?"
Instead they might think to themselves, "I have a problem: I need to do <thing>; this can probably be accomplished if I use a digital-first store of value." I don't see why you would care about how your money or asset is being represented unless you have another problem that forces you think about it.
With that out of the way, this leads me to my actual point - what is an actual problem you see being solved by a "digital native representation of value"? For example, a common one I see a lot is distrust of governments due to control or censorship.
How about HTTP 402?
Randomly posting a quote and a link is not discussion, nor is it an argument.
I posted a link that people who are familiar with the development of the internet and HTTP will remember that there was a big problem back then.. we didn't have a digital native representation of value and all digital data structures can easily be copied so the fear of double-spends is what caused Digicash, Bitgold and a few other earlier digital currencies fail.
In modern times, credit cards and the like provide an adequate solution the problem (there's definitely strong dislike over things like fees, though). Early digital currencies failed because they weren't trustworthy as third parties, or they failed to gain a wide enough userbase to keep fees low. But it's not like they all failed--PayPal is with us today. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies suffer as a payment method in that they don't solve the customer's problem, particularly in cases like ransomware where there is strong reason to doubt the seller's ability to deliver.
Except blockchain based currency can't solve the "402 problem" as you call it. They are far to expensive and would never scale to the transaction volume required.
And if you are going to say "oh yeah well Lightning Network will save us!". Lightning Network is the biggest pile of vaporware I've ever heard of. It's been "just around the corner" to save bitcoin for almost as long as bitcoin has been a thing. ...I do love the solution to scaling the blockchain is to not use it--a real ringing endorsement of Satoshi's Glorious Block Chain if I ever heard one!
The solution may be new but the problem is not at all new. The first solution to that problem was proposed in the 1980s and there is a large body of academic work on cryptographic approaches that preceded Bitcoin.