Microsoft money not updating share prices

27 Apr

“The popular narrative around using Bitcoin to buy coffee or pizza is a pipe dream at this point.” Fred Ehrsam, ex-president of Coinbase, notes how unusual this “magical Internet money” is in practice.“The thing that gives it value is other people giving it value, which is a strange thing to wrap one’s mind around.” Strange, but hardly unprecedented: Like the green paper our economy is built on—and the gold and silver that predate it—Bitcoin is valuable because we collectively decide it is.Investors, it turns out, wanted some too—even though Bitcoin’s usefulness remains largely theoretical.While some advocates dream of Bitcoin becoming the first universal currency, supplanting central banks and replacing Visa and Mastercard, so far its computerized bits are, at best, equivalent to “digital gold.” They’re good as a place to park money—what economists call a “store of value”—but impractical for payments, says Matt Huang, a partner at VC firm Sequoia.For true believers, the soaring rise rewarded a deep-seated faith.“It’s always been kind of obvious to me that this technology is as profoundly revolutionary as the Internet was and is,” Brito says.Maybe speculators, “foreseeing its potential usefulness for exchange,” would bet on the stuff.“I would definitely want some,” the philosopher teased.

“It’s a medium of value that connects us all.” Bitcoin also enjoys the brand recognition shared by innovators that arrive early and dominate fast, like Google in search, Facebook in social networking, and Amazon in e-commerce.

Every establishment failure reinforces the thesis; after debacles like the Wells Fargo fake-account scandal, he asks, “I’m supposed to trust those f–king banks?

” Trust them or not, banks and asset managers are poised to flock to Bitcoin too.

The appeal of this tech is stoked by geopolitical unease.

Since its inception in 2009, Bitcoin has fed off the festering distrust in institutions sown by the financial crisis.