Linette Lopez: "Cryptocurrencies are for speculators, criminals, and cosplayers"



Lopez is one of the sharpest journalists currently working the business beat. Marketplace loves her. Elon Musk hates her. She combines first rate reporting with a rare gift for calling out bullshit. 

 And in 2021, there is no richer vein of bullshit than...

Cryptocurrencies are for speculators, criminals, and cosplayers. Aside from that, they're useless, and I'm tired of everyone trying to pretend otherwise.

I have waited for years for someone to explain to me a decent use case for cryptocurrencies. But throughout the recent fervor over crypto with its huge price boom and subsequent bust, I've yet to hear one.

I understand it as a fun speculative asset if you have money to burn and a tolerance for stomach-churning volatility. But you need to understand that it is neither an inflation hedge (as it has demonstrated over the past few weeks), nor a "store of value," nor a viable alternative to government-backed currencies.

The entire asset class (strong words for it, I think) is extremely opaque, and there are embarrassingly few rules governing how it circulates. So if your "digital money" is stolen, or you get scammed, I don't want to hear about it. The very things that make it fun for gamblers — like volatility — are some of the very things that make it dangerous for anyone who thinks it is a good investment.

It's easier to understand the craze if you accept that there really is no point. Just let that wash over you.