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July 11, 2017, 2:03 p.m. EDT

Stay away from bitcoin and ethereum — they are complete garbage

What are the real-life uses? Online gambling and money laundering

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By Brett Arends, MarketWatch


If you’ve ever wondered what “cryptocurrencies” such as bitcoin, litecoin and ethereum are for, ask one of their legion of techie-libertarian fans.

And it’s dollars to dogecoins (yet another one) that the conversation will go something like this:

You: So what’s the purpose of bitcoin /zigman2/quotes/31322028/realtime BTCUSD +0.13% ?

Fan: The technology is absolutely amazing!

You: Yes, but what’s it for?

Fan: Really, the “blockchain” technology is a total masterpiece, way ahead of its time!

You: Yes, yes, I understand that. But what is it actually for?

Fan: You don’t understand! It’s a completely decentralized money system! Totally revolutionary!

You: Honestly, does it have a purpose? Any purpose at all?

Fan: It’s the wave of the future!

And on it will go.

It’s now an $82 billion market

Cryptocurrencies, or cybercurrencies, which were in a massive financial mania until their sudden selloff that started last month, have two actual applications: online gambling and money laundering. Neither is the heart of a major business model. But that’s it.

And these, preposterously, are the fundamentals behind a mania that has driven these currencies up thirtyfold, so that today, in aggregate, the market for them is a staggering $82 billion.

None of the defenders’ other arguments stack up.

US : CoinDesk
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